South Korean male adolescents' internal and external influences in academic achievement

Thumbnail Image
Geesa, Rachel Louise
Salloum, Serena J.
Issue Date
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
Other Identifiers

South Korean adolescents’ motivation for high academic achievement is strongly influenced by extraordinary parental support, pressures to achieve, and the practice of utilizing both public and private learning environments in South Korea. To remain competitive, educational leaders may benefit from observations of other countries’ academic successes and consider the implications for the current American educational structure. The purpose of this study is to explore South Korean male adolescents’ daily educational routines and their perceptions of their internal and external educational support systems in relation to their academic achievement. Furthermore, this study provides insightful data for educators, educational leaders, and global education critics about South Korean adolescents’ academic motivations and determinations. Such insights may be important to decision makers in evaluating education models. The review of literature for this study examines South Korea’s economic progression, educational structure, and familial and cultural standards. In this qualitative research, I observed and documented the educational perspectives of students, parents, and teachers at an all-male high school in Seoul, South Korea and collected data from the participants through interviews, observations, and reviews of academic-related documents. I used these data to better understand the relationship between adolescents’ family influences and adolescents’ academic achievements. I also used these data to achieve a reality-based understanding of how adolescents’ internal and external influences and motivations affect academic achievement. Although I could not formulate generalizations from this qualitative research, this study does provide insights into the relationships between South Koreans’ family standards, influences, and attitudes, and South Korean adolescents’ personal investments and value systems in education.