CONTESTING TEACHER EVALUATION: POLICY REFORM AND THE ADVOCACY COALITION FRAMEWORK IN SOUTH KOREA

Open Access
Author:
Park, Hyowon
Graduate Program:
Educational Theory and Policy
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
June 05, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Soo-Yong Byun, Dissertation Advisor
  • Soo-Yong Byun, Committee Chair
  • Gerald K Letendre, Committee Member
  • Katerina Bodovski, Committee Member
  • Jamie Myers, Outside Member
Keywords:
  • Teacher evaluation policy
  • Teacher organizations
  • Teacher participation
  • Teacher policy reform
  • Advocacy Coalition Framework
Abstract:
This study examines the influences of teacher organizations in the formation and reform of the Teacher Evaluation for Professional Development (TEPD) policy in Korea. The chances for successful policy implementation and reform can be improved through the involvement of key stakeholders in the policy process. Teacher evaluation policy is considered as one of the most sensitive issues for teachers and teacher organizations because the consequences of the evaluation can be threatening to teachers’ pay and job security. However, these major stakeholders (i.e., teachers and teacher organizations) have often been neglected when it comes to the forming and changing of policies. Moreover, there has been little discussion in regards to the roles of teacher organizations and the importance of their participation in the policy process. Therefore, this study can significantly contribute to the literature and expand the field of teacher organizations’ participation in the policy process. To account for the teacher organizations’ role in shaping and reforming TEPD policy, I conducted a search of the governmental documents, newsletters, and documents on TEPD published by two teacher organizations – Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations (KFTA) and Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU) – between 2004 and 2016. By applying the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), the study seeks to answer three research questions with sub-questions: a) How did teacher organizations attempt to influence TEPD policy processes? b) Does the case of TEPD align with the core postulates of advocacy coalitions from ACF? and c) What are external factors that led changes to the policy change? Results suggest that two teacher organizations in the policy subsystem mobilized their resources and attempted to imprint their beliefs on policy formation and development of TEPD through different strategies. Results also indicate that the case of TEPD partially supports the assumptions of advocacy coalitions from ACF. For instance, advocacy coalitions of TEPD policy subsystem were stable over time, but there were some defection and changes in coalition composition. Moreover, the case of TEPD indicated mixed results for the ACF’s hypothesis pertaining to a belief system that the actors would show substantial consensus within the policy core belief. While KTU supported the hypothesis, KFTA presented an internal dissension within the organization on the policy core belief (i.e. implementation of TEPD). Third, the external factors – the problems attributed by previous teacher evaluation policies, a paradigm shift, the IMF bailout, changes in public opinion on teacher quality, changes of the regime every five years, and a higher degree of consensus needed within an open political system in Korea – influenced policy change of TEPD. Based on these results, the study discussed contributions to the literature, policy recommendations, and limitations and further directions for research.