Factors influencing the participation of Korean high school students in private tutoring activities under the implementation of the high school equalization policy

Open Access
Author:
Kim, Jinsu
Graduate Program:
Educational Leadership
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 18, 2007
Committee Members:
  • William L Boyd, Committee Chair
  • Roger C Shouse, Committee Chair
  • John W Tippeconnic Iii, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • private tutoring
  • the high school equalization policy
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to identify influential factors affecting the prevalence of private tutoring on the student-level, school-level, and country-level and to examine the effects of policy measures, such as ability-grouping between classes, talent and aptitude class as an after-school program, and the high school equalization policy, to reduce the demand for private tutoring participation in Korean education. In addition, this study analyzed the reason for participating in private tutoring activities among academic high school students. The data were collected from the Korean Education and Employment Panel (KEEP) conducted by the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET) –a government sponsored research institute- since the year 2004. Among a total of 6,000 samples which consisted of 2,000 middle schools seniors, 2,000 academic high school seniors, and 2,000 vocational and technical high school seniors during a three-month period from March to August in 2004, only the data of 2,000 academic high school seniors were used for these research questions and hypotheses. Dependent variables for this proposal are measured by cost and time of private tutoring activities. These include: 1) cost of private tutoring: average monthly costs for participating in at least one type of private tutoring activity; and 2) time spent in private tutoring: average weekly hours spent participating in private tutoring activities for English, Math, Korean Language, Social Science, and Science. Independent variables have three categories; student-level variables, school-level variables, and country-level variables. The first set of independent variables is student-level variables, which consist of family background characteristics including mother’s level of education, total family income, parents?interest in their children’s education, and student perception of their competence in English, Math, Korean Language, Social Science, and Science. The second set of independent variables is school-level variables, which consist of school quality characteristics, including the extent of school satisfaction, school location, and teacher competence, school type (public or private), access to school facilities, the number of students admitted to college or universities, and students?interest in class. The third set of independent variables is country-level variables, which consist of the implementation of the equalization policy, the implementation of ability-grouping between classes, and the percentage of students who participate in talent and aptitude class as an after school program. The first important finding of this study is that the equalization policy is not an important factor affecting private tutoring participation. The second important finding of this study is that there is no difference in the amount of time used in private tutoring between students who perceive their competence in English, Math, Korean language, Social Science, and Science as low and students who perceive their competence in English, Math, Korean Language, Social Science and Science as high. The third important finding of this study is that the efforts of the Korean government to reduce private tutoring expenditure are partially effective. Policy implications for research and practice can be derived from the findings of this study. First of all, it is necessary to change perspectives on private tutoring. Policy makers and researchers have to realize that private tutoring is not a unique practice in Korea; rather it is becoming a world-wide phenomenon. Second, the assertion that the equalization policy should be abolished is not supported in these findings. Third, this study support the previous finding that students from higher socio-economic families spend more money for private tutoring than do students from lower socio-economic families. Fourth, the current educational policy measures to reduce the expenditures of private tutoring among high school students need to be examined.