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A Study on Melissa Cha's Korean Female Education during the Japanese Colonial Period

  • 중앙사론
  • 2012, (36), pp.99-148
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Kim, Seong Eun 1

1대구한의대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Melissa Cha was a new woman studied in China and the U.S. After returning home, she was a teacher and the superintendent of the dormitory in Baewha girl’s school, organized Korean Female Education Association (조선여자교육회), and opened woman's night school (부인야학). This school named Geunwha private educational institute (근화학원) and established day school as an annex. After that, Geunwha woman's school (근화여학교) was recognized one of miscellaneous schools which meant non regular(formal) school and an exclusive day school including elementary and middle courses by the Japanese Government General of Korea. At last it had become Geunwha girls' vocational school (근화여자실업학교) as recognizing a commercial school and a regular middle course of study. This thesis paid attention to changable aspect of Melissa Cha's emphasis of understanding on Korean woman's education and various courses of the school. She established and expanded the school according to her belief that Korean women need a school establishing and managing by Korean. At the beginning of woman's night school, her concern of Korean woman's education was elementary level. And she set a goal to improve Korean women's life and harmony husbands and wives through Korean alphabet education of housewives. She understood Korean female education could solve Korean women's rights issue. She thought Korean society would realize true gender equality through women's education, cultivating her ability and personality, and gaining freedom and liberation. Also she focused on women's vacational education for her economic independence. So sewing course and commercial course was established as new departments at Geunwha woman's school. In the early 1920s, shortage of educational institution and increasing Korean women's passion for education aggravated her difficulties in obtaining school admission. Correspondence to these social needs, she changed institute's system of day and night course, ordinary course, and prep class for middle school into Geunwha woman's school characterized day school, and ordinary and advanced courses. Although characteristic of this school still placed emphasis on elementary education regardless of student's age, school carried out humanities and industrial courses, ordinary and advanced courses, and professional education side by side. At the moment, she inclined to humanities secondary school and professional course as higher education. She emphasized on job training and practical instruction at the same time for both housewives and working women. And she began to establish a foundation school for regular secondary vocational school including both homemaking and commercial courses. Finally she earned the recognition of Geunwha girls' vocational school. But it limited to commercial school. Homemaking course did not accept. In spite of it, this meant a lot. Graduates' abilities and educational backgrounds would recognize officially according to raising in status of regular school. And It would make huge strides to activate Korean women's economic independence, social activities, and improvement of her status and rights. Melissa Cha's emphasis on Korean female education issue and educational direction of Geunwha women's school moved in various way according to social need, government's policy and her perception of reality.

Citation status

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