The opening period of Korea was the period of modernisation amidst the conflicts between conservative and progressive sections with penetration of Western powers after 1876. With the opening modernisation accompanied modernisation of education. Missionary schools established by protestant missionaries played a crucial role in educational modernisation in the period of opening. In this article, the process of educational modernisation and the ways in which the ideas of democracy and equality were taught in the earliest schools, Paejae, Ewha, Kyoungsin and Chungsin are analysed through the method of bibliographical investigation of the textbooks used by these schools. No textbook prior to 1900 was found and in general there were no textbooks such as we know today. Usually English reading material and the Bible were the main teaching materials. Teachers kept their own copies of hand-written texts which were translated versions of American textbook. Since the same teacher taught in a number of schools, they shared same curriculum. In the early period, English Bible was taught so that English and the Bible lessons were not separated but gradually history and geography were added. Teaching of Hangul, and Korean history were added to encourage the sense of national identity and patriotism. In the case of Chungsin, for biology class, pupils were sent to Che-jung-won to learn human physiology, chemistry and physics, which shows an emphasis on science education. Vocational education was carried out; in the case of Paejae, a printing workshop was set up enabling students to earn some money at the same time as learning. Also in Kyungsin, skills of woodwork and basket weaving were stressed. Ewha also held a bazaar of the work made in sewing classes. Establishment of missionary schools brought about a great contribution in modernising Korean society and the Christian spiritual education of these schools lay the foundation for building democracy in Korea.
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