SOCIALIST EDUCATION IN KOREA: SELECTED WORKS OF KIM IL-SUNG
Edited & Introduced by Riley Seungyoon Park and Cambria York
Foreword by Derek R. Ford and Curry Malott
Publishing the Selected Works of Kim Il-Sung on education is a controversial move in the United States. In fact, there is almost a proportional relationship between the demonization of the DPRK and the level of ignorance one has about the state, the country, its government, its people and society, and its history. This is particularly striking given the recent interest in decolonial and anti-colonial education, in socialist and communist educational methods, and in socialism and communism more generally. Given these recent activist and scholarly interests, Riley Park and Cambria York’s new collection, Socialist Education in Korea, is a welcome contribution. Their book not only provides key insights into the socialist educational project in Korea—including its pedagogical philosophies and practices, organizations, purposes, government institutions, and more. It also helps provide a more accurate description of the DPRK’s socialist project as articulated by the state’s founder and, for almost five decades, central leader.
“Academic and public libraries in the West should expand their collections with revolutionary educational materials. Socialist Education in Korea delves into the history and educational praxis of North Korea in a way that is rarely studied in the US, as this work counters many of the western media narratives against North Korea. As librarians, it is our duty to build collections with a wide range of ideas, and the research in this book presents a challenge to our current institutionalized education systems. Only through the study of a socialist pedagogy can we really see that the education of the working class is paramount to our collective liberation.”
—Stephen Lane, Reference and Outreach Archivist, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis
“As decolonial and anti-racist educational projects gain global prominence, especially in the epicenters of imperialist power such as the U.S., it is high time critical educators reject the racist, Cold-War anti-communism so viciously aimed at North Korea and open our minds to the rich pedagogical lessons taught by one of the DPRK’s most important historical figures, Kim Il-Sung. Since the U.S.’s so-called Pivot to Asia in 2015, escalating military aggression, and increasing crisis and white supremacist backlash in the U.S., Riley Park and Cambria York’s important collection of Kim Il-Sung’s writings are a welcome contribution to the field.”
—Donna-Marie Cole-Malott, Assistant Professor of Professional and Secondary Education, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania