This article examines how progressive education was introduced to South Korea after the Second World War and takes a closer look at critical studies of this history. It argues that the America-led progressive education policies, which focused on art education, were an uncritical adaptation of the superpower's educational ideology and did not contribute to the advancement of education in Korea. In order to clear the vestiges of Japanese colonial rule, many progressive reform projects, including the reformation of the curriculum, were set into motion. However, these initiatives did not address South Korea's social and economic issues but helped to maintain traces of colonial rule. They influenced the Korean people to develop a negative view of their own roots, culture and traditions. It encouraged people to consider themselves as the subjects of Westernisation and was a strategy implemented by America to have influence on South Korea.