UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Self-care and care-for-others in education Jung, Jung Hoon


In this study I articulate what it means to care for the self and care for others, and the association between the two. Juxtaposing self-understanding through the method of currere and studying the historical character of hakbeolism, I articulate how self-understanding in conjunction with historical study, together allegorically, can be a transformative possibility that may contribute to subjective reconstruction which can be a way of self-care. After discussing how Korean schooling exercises coercive care, disconfirmation, and the “whip of love” for the students’ own good, I ponder how having one’s own standards can be a way of making one’s life a work of art without entirely conforming to externally imposed standards. My special emphasis is on the internalization of external standards in students and on teachers’ and parents’ culpability in practicing and reproducing them. Focusing on Nel Noddings’ ethic of care and analyzing The King’s Speech, I discuss how care-for-others can contribute to self-understanding, indeed to building an authentic self-self relationship. What might an education with self-care and care-for-others look like? I imagine that it may be one that allows and encourages students to come up with their own standards, perhaps with the help of or in relationship with others. However, there are structural and relational challenges in exercising self-care and care-for-others and keeping a balance between them. I suggest breaking the unnecessary linkage between our ethic and the constraining structures, teaching and learning, and our preference and reality, and that by doing so it is possible to build linkages between our knowledge and ethics, which requires our courage, and ethicality to make professional judgment. Arguing that self-care and care-for-others are intrinsically intertwined, I suggest that we may be able to keep a balance between them using discernment, surrendering to reality, and that in the discernment we may be able to make better decisions for the well-being of the self, others, and the society.

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