Culturally supportive pedagogy: challenges faced by North Korean immigrant students in South Korea

Dat Bao, Guilio Ricci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter identifies and presents a range of factors that impedes North Korean students’ learning and social adaptation in the South Korean educational system. Such factors include differences in learning approaches, social experiences, behaviour, mindset, language use, among others. All of these lead to low acceptance by the host towards the immigrant both in schools and in everyday communication. Attempting to stretch beyond painting a bleak picture of cultural mismatch, this chapter argues that while it seems impossible to restructure the thinking of a society overnight, small changes can take place in the everyday classroom learning through culturally sensitive activities. Such activities need to help students demonstrate respect, build social understanding, reduce communication mismatch, break social stereotypes, avoid discrimination, develop supportive principles, tolerate differences, and nurture a healthy sense of belonging. All of these are to be considered for the practice of a more inclusive, empathetic, and culturally sensitive pedagogy, which teachers would need not only to help students learn but also to strengthen teachers’ professional development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Pedagogies Through Engagement with Learners, Teachers and Communities
EditorsDat Bao, Thanh Pham
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789811600579
ISBN (Print)9789811600562
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameEducation in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects
ISSN (Print)1573-5397
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9791


  • Culturally sensitive pedagogy
  • Empathy
  • Adjustment
  • Inclusivity
  • Social stereotypes

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