So my coworkers have been a buzz about Barrack Obama's recent comment
that claimed that "Korean students are in school a month longer than American students. Koreans seem to find this as a vindication of the hours and hours of studying and the grueling and competitive regime of tests that they have to go through to get into one of three universities that Koreans consider worth a damned.
Today it dawned on me that this does not compute. Koreans usually complain about the education system and most seem to acknowledge that Korea schools seem to put it double the time studying only to get about the same results as Americans in math and science, piss poor results in English, and almost no results in things like writing, presentation, political science. Korean schools can produce Doctors and engineers, but they are handicapping Korea in the gobal economy due to their inability to produce learners that are flexible, familiar with critical thinking, or able to do anything other than regurgitate the infomation from the test.
Not that the American system is all peaches and cream and without many of the same problems and then some. It is certain though that the Korean system would rob us of one of our most precious resources: Innovation.
As middle school teacher that is neck-deep in the Korean education system, I find Obama comment reckless. Apparently I am not alone
. To look at the Korea Education system with envy is absurd. The whole system is only kept afloat through expensive and morally dubious privite after-school cram schools.
I do recognize that this was a minor comment in a speech that I generally agree with, but a minor survey of Foriegn English teachers in Korea would shed a lot of light on the situation.