4 years ago1,000+ Views
Sewoong Ko writes about how his family moved from South Korea after his eldest brother "fell sick" from the stress of the nation's education system. He says that he "was fortunate that my mother recognized the problem and had the means to take me abroad. Most South Korean children’s parents are the main source of the unrelenting pressure put on students." While I do not know personally how harsh the system is - the same system that ranks highest on international tests - Ko is firm with his opinion. "The entire program amounts to child abuse. It should be reformed and restructured without delay." It is an interesting read for those concerned with the future of education systems all over the world, because in the end it will affect us all. (remember, Obama often praises the Korean learning system) You can read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/opinion/sunday/south-koreas-education-system-hurts-students.html?ref=opinion
@sophiamor I completely agree with you - admittedly, the kind of pressure-cooker environment in Korea would probably only work well for a very small percentage of the student population. In the West, at least in the UK where I grew up, our system focuses on achieving a middle ground which sees the majority of kids do well but does mean that hard workers / overachievers get bored in class and those who really struggle are also left unsupported. I think that unlike in the West, Korea's education system focuses purely on the overachieving fast track learners with those who struggle being left with a "catch up or else" mentality...
Rote memorization is not the way to learn anything. I have taken years and years of language classes, but I can't speak any of them well because I am so good at memorizing everything for a test and forgetting it the next day.
@funkystar25 I think the problem is that not all students are like you, and putting that much stress on students that naturally struggle in school can have horrible effects. Having the option for fast-track learners like you is fantastic but basing an entire education system on those high standards can actually hurt students in the long run. I just dont know where the happy medium lies :/
I'm all for a challenge but I want to be challenged not only to learn a lot of new infomation, but how to learn to apply that information in new distinct ways as well.
While I agree that the system is in major need of reform and does place a significant amount of stress on students, I have a number of Korean friends for whom the system really suited them. They relished the challenge and the stress and performed better for it. As someone who grew up wanting to study all the time but studying in a school where I constantly felt held back by my peers, I actually find the high-pressure, intensive Korean education environment really appealing.
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