There is considerable interest in computers. At the end of there was about 1 computer per every The Ministry of Education planned to raise the ratio to 1 computer per The computer laboratory we visited was equipped with about 50 terminals meant to serve 3, students, but at the time only teachers were in the room. As we noted, discipline problems were infrequent, and great respect for teachers was evident. Students bowed, as is the custom, when passing teachers in the halls and appeared hesitant to enter faculty offices.
We learned that discipline cases are generally referred to the student's homeroom teacher, who then talks with the student and his or her family. In addition to administering discipline, which may but infrequently includes corporal punishment, homeroom teachers offer counseling, help students with college applications, and maintain contact with parents. We were told in that in years past when teachers informed parents of discipline problems, parents responded by sending the teacher either a small amount of rice as an apology for having caused the teacher worry and trouble or a switch for the teacher to discipline the child.
Since , teachers no longer have the legal authority to administer corporal punishment. This change has created some confusion as to the extent of teachers' authority. Despite these differences, Korean teachers still have more responsibility for counseling students and controlling their behavior than do teachers in the United States. Korean culture grants teachers the same authority as parents and attributes them even greater responsibility for children's moral and academic development.
One teacher we met was a Korean American from Maryland who teaches conversational English. As he explained, students are rarely assigned written work either in class or as homework. His regular workload consists of five classes that meet four times each week, with an additional twenty classes that meet once a week. With a typical class size of 50 or more students, this teacher would have 1, papers to review weekly. He, of course, could not evaluate them and handle all his other responsibilities.
This teacher's workday extends from A. Although a relatively long day by American standards, it leaves him with considerable free time and few responsibilities other than teaching. This teacher confessed that he did not know if his students actually were learning English. There are no failing grades, but there are remedial classes, and students may attend supplemental education centers if they or their parents feel there is a need.
Most schools give trial achievement tests twice a year to prepare students for college entrance examinations. In addition, multiple Internet websites offer the same services, helping students to gauge their own progress. Regarding instructional methods, this teacher has tried small groups and other nontraditional approaches to teaching but felt his students did not respond well, being unfamiliar with such methods and uncertain about how they were expected to perform.
He therefore returned to lecturing, which he attempts to enliven with frequent questions. His many students seem amazingly cooperative, good-natured, and enthusiastic. A lively question-and-answer session directed by the teacher about students' images of the United States took place during our visit. As one might expect, they were most aware of international sports and celebrity figures, such as Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. However, when asked what came to mind when they thought of the United States, many answered "freedom" or "the Statue of Liberty.
We also visited an elementary school of students. Located in Ch'unchon, a city of ,, northeast of Seoul, the school had the familiar large, bare playground and meeting space, along with typical class sizes of approximately 50 students. The music teacher has more than 50 violins to be used by students in a challenging classical music program. One room stocked with stringed and percussion instruments is devoted to traditional Korean music. A large computer lab is available for classes, and new computers with Pentium processors had just arrived to replace the machines currently in use.
The school library, according to the principal, needs more books, given the size of the student body. He suggested, however, that this school was fairly representative of Korean elementary schools, except for its well-equipped television studio, which students use to produce school programs. School tradition and achievement is very important to Korea's principals. One high school has a large stone marker engraved with its motto, "Diligence and Wisdom," and statues adorn the school grounds.
One depicts a standing young student looking intently into the eyes of a seated female teacher. The other is of Admiral Sun-shin Yi, the heroic sixteenth-century warrior who designed and built a fleet of iron-plated "turtle boats" that were instrumental in the defeat of a Japanese invasion. In the principal's office, one wall has photographs and statements noting the qualifications of the staff. The entrance to the school is lined with pictures of past principals and a large inscription, "Teachers create the future. Elementary schools put more emphasis on art, music, and physical education than secondary schools do.
In addition, at this level more time—roughly the same amount that a Korean high school student spends preparing for college entrance tests—is devoted to extracurricular activities. Social studies education begins in the first and second grades with a course combined with science and titled "Intelligent Life. Third- and fourth-grade students receive hours of social studies instruction and fifth- and sixth-graders are given hours per year.
At the middle school level, seventh-grade students have hours, and eighth- and ninth-graders receive hours of social studies instruction. In high school, first-year students take a program of required courses. By their second year, students can select from among three tracks: humanities and social studies, a natural science track, and a vocational track.
However, this is likely to change. The social studies track includes courses in Korean history, politics, economics, society, and culture as well as world history, world geography, and social studies. Korea has a national curriculum developed and monitored by the Ministry of Education. It is revised every five to ten years; implementation of the seventh national curriculum began in This curriculum seeks to develop democratic citizens who have strong moral and civic convictions.
There have been proposals to change the nature of the educational process—from focusing on preparation for college and entrance into schools that will ensure economic success and intellectual development, over the cultivation of attitudes and abilities needed to become responsible citizens. Toward this end a practice-based approach to humanity education has been implemented, with the goals of instilling values of etiquette, public order, and democratic citizenship through experiential activities. Elements of this curriculum are introduced throughout the school program.
From kindergarten through third grade, the focus is on etiquette, the observing of social rules, and the development of a sense of community. Fourth through ninth grade emphasizes democratic citizenship, including rules, processes, and reasonable decision-making.
At the high school level, attention is given to global citizenship, including understanding other cultures and peace education.
Accordingly, there should be greater emphasis on tolerant and open-minded attitudes toward diversity and differences. Along with their strong belief in the family and cultural traditions, Koreans value education and are willing to make significant personal sacrifices to ensure that their children are afforded the best available learning opportunities. No nation has a higher degree of enthusiasm for education than Korea, and nowhere are children more pressured to study.
In Moo-Sub Kang, director general of the Korean Educational Development Institute, noted that education administration was gradually moving from the national Ministry of Education to individual schools. In a Presidential Commission for a New Education Community was established to encourage further reform. More recent educational policy encourages a modest degree of curriculum decentralization.
Local boards of education, similar to those in the United States but covering larger geographic areas, now have the requisite degree of autonomy to interpret the national curriculum in terms of local needs. For example, some schools now offer more computer, art, music, and writing courses, eliminating the need for their extracurricular study. Principals now can work with social studies teachers in developing aspects of the curriculum that reflect local needs, such as character education and community service programs. However, the issue that continues to receive the most attention is the need to reform the school system.
Many Koreans believe that the mass education of the industrial era is not appropriate to an era of high technology and globalization. In practical terms, large lecture classes of 50 or 60 students with an emphasis on rote learning will not produce creative or morally sensitive graduates. In response to a changing society, the Korean government established a new vision for education. Unveiled by the Presidential Commission on Educational Reform in May , this vision projected open, lifelong education that would provide individuals with equal and easy access to education at any time and place.
Further, the Commission felt that education suitable for the twenty-first century would be achieved through technology. The long-range goal was to raise the quality of education to a world-standard level of excellence. Critics point out that in the ensuing five years most classroom practices have remained unchanged. In addition, policy is still set through a four-tiered hierarchical model that is heavily weighted against parental and teacher input, despite locally elected boards of education.
Education has contributed to the growth of Korea's democratic government. It has produced hardworking, skilled employees who have brought about an economic miracle within a single generation. It has reaffirmed traditional values while maintaining its commitment to modernization, citizenship, and global involvement.
The ambitious and comprehensive reform plans developed in by the Ministry of Education still appear to enjoy widespread public and professional support. A broad spectrum of the society recognizes the need for lifelong learning as a precept for social and economic improvement.
- Last Dance (Carter House Girls).
- The Subject of Difference and Different Subjects.
- Closing Time.
- Helped students to interpret subject matter from diverse perspectives?
We would like to thank Dr. Young-Seog Kim, social studies doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia, for their assistance in the preparation of this paper. South Korean Education. The Education System The Korean public education structure is divided into three parts: six years of primary school, followed by three years of middle school and then three years of high school.
Visiting a High School The high schools that we saw were large and rather barren in appearance. Visiting an Elementary School We also visited an elementary school of students. Social Studies and the Curriculum Social studies education begins in the first and second grades with a course combined with science and titled "Intelligent Life.
Humanity Education There have been proposals to change the nature of the educational process—from focusing on preparation for college and entrance into schools that will ensure economic success and intellectual development, over the cultivation of attitudes and abilities needed to become responsible citizens.
Looking Toward the Future Along with their strong belief in the family and cultural traditions, Koreans value education and are willing to make significant personal sacrifices to ensure that their children are afforded the best available learning opportunities.
Teaching Styles: Different Teaching Methods & Strategies
Some Tentative Conclusions Education has contributed to the growth of Korea's democratic government. Explore School Systems Around the World. Global Cities Education Network. While the hidden curriculum in any given school encompasses an enormous variety of potential intellectual, social, cultural, and environmental factors—far too many to extensively catalog here—the following examples will help to illustrate the concept and how it might play out in schools:.
Generally speaking, the concept of a hidden curriculum in schools has become more widely recognized, discussed, and addressed by school leaders and educators in recent decades. In addition, school communities , educators, and students are more likely than in past decades to actively and openly reflect on or question their own assumptions, biases, and tendencies, either individually or as a part of a formal school policy, program, or instructional activity.
For example, topics such a bullying and diversity are now regularly discussed in public schools, and academic lessons, assignments, readings, and materials are now more likely to include multicultural perspectives, topics, and examples. Political and social pressures, including factors such as the increased scrutiny that has resulted from online media and social networking, may also contribute to greater awareness of unintended lessons and messages in schools.
For example, harmful, hurtful, or unhealthy student behaviors are now regularly surfaced on social-networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, which often leads to greater awareness of student behaviors or social trends. For this reason, every school will always have some form of hidden curriculum.
While the hidden curriculum in any given school encompasses an enormous variety of potential intellectual, social, cultural, and environmental factors—far too many to extensively catalog here—the following examples will help to illustrate the concept and how it might play out in schools: Cultural expectations: The academic, social, and behavioral expectations established by schools and educators communicate messages to students.
For example, one teacher may give tough assignments and expect all students to do well on those assignments, while another teacher may give comparatively easy assignments and habitually award all students passing grades even when their work quality is low. In the high-expectations class, students may learn much more and experience a greater sense of accomplishment, whereas students in the low-expectations class may do just enough work to get by and be comparatively uninterested in the lessons they are being taught.
Similarly, schools may unconsciously hold students from different cultural backgrounds—for example, minorities, recently arrived immigrant students, or students with disabilities—to lower academic expectations, which may have unintended or negative effects on their academic achievement, educational aspirations, or feelings of self-worth. Cultural values: The values promoted by schools, educators, and peer groups, such as cliques, may also convey hidden messages. For example, some schools may expect and reward conformity while punishing nonconformity, whereas other schools might celebrate and even encourage nonconformity.
In one school, students may learn that behaviors such as following the rules, acting in expected ways, and not questioning adults are rewarded, while in other schools students learn that personal expression, taking initiative, or questioning authority are valued and rewarded behaviors.
Relationship between the strands of making and responding
Similarly, if biased or prejudicial behaviors and statements are tolerated in a school, students may embrace the values that are accepted or modeled—either explicitly or implicitly—by adults and other students. Cultural perspectives: How schools recognize, integrate, or honor diversity and multicultural perspectives may convey both intentional and unintended messages.
Other schools, however, may actively integrate or celebrate the multicultural diversity of the student body by inviting students and parents to share stories about their home country, for example, or by posting and publishing informational materials in multiple languages. In one school, non-American cultures may be entirely ignored, while in another they may be actively celebrated, with students and their families experiencing feelings of either isolation or inclusion as a result.
Related Educational Diversity: The Subject of Difference and Different Subjects
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