Trends and Issues Surrounding the Reading of Historical Texts in the Republic of Korea

Yang offers the historical background of the Korean government’s recent decision for a state designated high school history textbook. Drawing attention to the very similar decision in 1973, which was held for 30 years, the chapter summarizes history teachers’ efforts for teaching lively history that defy the fixed interpretation of the nation’s past. In reviewing the related research issues regarding historical thinking, leading up to the recent discussion about how to read like a historian, it focuses on the meaning and purpose of reading historical texts critically. Yang argues for a more careful consideration of contextualization in research on critical reading and in the classroom practice of reading the one and only history textbook against the grain.