How Two Kindergarten Teachers Perceive and Meet the Needs of The 2.5 Generation Korean Children

Open Access
Lee, Changkee
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 27, 2015
Committee Members:
  • James Ewald Johnson, Dissertation Advisor
  • James Ewald Johnson, Committee Chair
  • James F Nolan Jr., Committee Member
  • Matthew Edward Poehner, Committee Member
  • Esther Susana Prins, Committee Member
  • 2.5 generation
  • immigrant families
  • language development
  • context of reception
  • teacher education
  • cultural capital
Kindergarten teachers must meet the needs of the relatively new 2.5 generation of Korean children (children with one foreign-born parent) and help them overcome their difficulties as students in South Korean schools and later on as adult members of Korean society. The research questions are as follows: 1. How do two kindergarten teachers perceive the needs of the 2.5s as compared to other children? 2. How do two kindergarten teachers meet the needs of the 2.5s? This study employed an evaluative case study research design, in conjunction with semi-structured interview questions oriented toward the concept of context of reception from U.S.-based literature and the imported pedagogical constructs (i.e., ZPD and L2 DA) from the Vygotskian tradition. The two teachers observed and interviewed for this case study research, had a tendency to link the 2.5s’ needs and meeting these needs to professional roles or duties. Although the teachers minimally had to ‘perceive’ the needs to meet the needs of the 2.5s, meeting the needs of the 2.5s had more relation to the teachers’ own characteristics (professional dispositions and beliefs), attitudes, and views on the 2.5s and their family members than other factors such as the knowledge that the teachers had about their 2.5s as students. Elucidatingly, the ideal situations in which teachers could perceive as well as meet the needs of the 2.5s require 1) going beyond any knowledge that teachers might possess concerning them and teacher roles, and 2) examining teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about their population of students and their families as well.