Tracking and College Major Choices in Academic High Schools in South Korea

Paik, Sunhee; Shim, Woo-jeong
November 2013
Asia-Pacific Education Researcher (Springer Science & Business M;Nov2013, Vol. 22 Issue 4, p721
Academic Journal
In South Korea, academic high school students are placed in either the Munka ([InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] ) track or the Yika ([InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] ) track. Both tracks diverge greatly in their mathematics and science curricula. Advanced math and science subjects are only taught in Yika. For this reason, track placement determines students' college majors and career choices. Since little is known about how students choose their high school tracks and college majors, this study explores how academic high school students made these choices. Factors influencing students' choice of high school tracks and college majors were also examined. The results indicate that students generally chose college majors relevant to their track placement. Students' gender, parental education, subject matter preferences, and school size were significant factors affecting students' track placement and decision on college majors. Implications for educational policy and practice are also discussed.


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