Living in the U.S. Advantages of American Education
The importance of education is a permanent task that cannot be overemphasized. Compared to other animals, humans have so much knowledge that they need to learn and understand, so they can do their job after nearly 20 years of learning. Also, in today’s information age, knowledge is power, and lifelong learning is a condition of our lives that remind us of the importance of education.
For this reason, education seems to be a national task in the United States as well. President Clinton, who seemed to have neglected the idea of a new revival in the United States, set it as a national priority project and invested a huge amount of money in order to eradicate illiteracy and provide a wide and qualitatively deepened education at the national level. set China and India as potential competitors and announced their will to train 70,000 excellent professional teachers and put them into the high school curriculum in order not to be overtaken by them.
Likewise, in Korea, education has always been emphasized in its importance as it is often referred to as a ‘hundred-year system’. Also, how great is the enthusiasm for education of the Korean people. Our zeal for education, which is second in the world, is causing problems, but we all agree that it is an important driving force that has made Korea what it is today.
In this context, today, I would like to use some of the advantages of American education.
First of all, I believe that the strength of American education lies in the way it engages students and engages in serious and passionate discussions.
I’m sorry to hear about my child’s case, but since my experience is limited, I have no choice but to draw data from there. Here, a child in fifth grade has the opportunity to prepare and present an assignment under the name of ‘Science Project’. My child is not yet fluent in English, so he only had one chance to give a presentation, but the other children have to give a presentation more than once. The child had an assignment that her parents almost did and gave a presentation just by reading, but her friends seemed to be in a quandary for asking so many questions. It was an opportunity to feel an aspect of American education that encourages children’s participation and discussion. When I went to school for an event, the science project reports presented by the children were pasted on the wall of the classroom, and there were many diagrams and pictures that were clearly visible that they did not normally do with great care.
What was also surprising was the fact that the presentation method was evaluated very strictly in the presentation of these assignments. While notifying parents of the science project, in terms of the evaluation criteria, especially the presentation method, do they just read the prepared text, other students – make eye contact with the audience, or occasionally look at the notes and make eye contact with the audience with confidence. It was truly unique and surprising to see how the evaluation was made by setting detailed standards, such as proudly presenting one’s views. In the end, this evaluation method was really impressive in that it was not only a reasonable and fair evaluation, but also a process that allowed people to practice expressing their views logically and creatively in front of the audience.
Of course, students who have received this education from an early age will be able to actively and coherently present their views at university. This semester, I have been taking a peek at the lectures at Stony Brook University, Long Island, in the form of an audition.
It was not the classroom I entered with the assumption that the atmosphere of the class would be quite dizzy because the country of the United States was completely free-spirited and the students were like that (though it was due to the preconceived notions I had after watching Hollywood movies that only caused problems). The professor asks a question, and the students answer eagerly. The most impressive thing was the serious attitude of the students. There were no jokes, only the text from beginning to end, and the questions and answers were conducted, and even as the class progressed, there were hardly any students chatting or getting bored. Although it is a subject with a serious theme of ‘Reading Literature and Philosophy in a Social Context,’ and the main audience is mainly literature and philosophy students, the serious attitude of the students was very impressive.
Compared to the fact that college students in our country are easily bored with the information and communication generation who are accustomed to the Internet these days and make a lot of noise in the classroom, I saw a surprising sincerity and quietness in American college students. I went into a classroom where the professor almost reads a book by himself, but the atmosphere of the students has subsided so much that I couldn’t see a lively class, but even there, it is a Confucian custom that students do not chatter or yawn carelessly. It was a landscape that was dyed rather fresh to me. My sense of wonder is, of course, the kind of feeling I feel in contrast to the chaos of our college classrooms these days. For various reasons that cannot be discussed here for a long time, the classroom landscape in Korea is quite crumbling these days, regardless of elementary, middle, and high school. How to create a classroom full of seriousness and passion while discussing lively is the desire of all teachers, that is, our educational climate will also be created like this. In order to do so, it seems that long-term and groundbreaking planning and implementation are necessary.
So, although I am not an expert in pedagogy, I would like to suggest the following.
First of all, the culture in which arguments based on logic and creativity are evaluated takes root in our society, and it is necessary to receive such training strictly from elementary education books. Our country’s disregard for logical thinking and eloquence was well demonstrated in the last Hwang Woo-suk incident. I understand that one of the causes of Professor Hwang’s incident is that the people, the media, and politicians, who were defending Professor Hwang with emotional and blind patriotism without rational thinking, were all unfamiliar with rational and rational conversations or discussions and caused a riot. do. Therefore, there is an interest in people who want to receive attention from others, whether it is a joke or something. Such a climate of pouring should be socially excluded first, and logical dialogue and presentation methods according to it should be established from childhood education.
Also, I would like to suggest that college freshmen be selected by mobilizing various evaluation factors such as students’ leadership, volunteer spirit, and physical activity, rather than based solely on their studies. This is an old evaluation method in the United States that it is not even a suggestion, and we educators and education officials cannot be unaware of it, so I do not know why this point is not used. Nowadays, universities in our country select students through various methods such as selection of students with excellent leadership skills and special talents, but I understand that it is not a method of selecting students based on holistic education. It seems that high schools are also asking students for service points, but this is also done in a very formal way, so it seems that it is only recognized as one area of scoring.
Of course, American-style student selection must be based on a fair and rigorous evaluation of the school, but whether the school or society as a whole is mature enough is an important key.
I am a person who appreciates the high enthusiasm for education of our people as a great thing and recognizes that this is the decisive driving force of the Republic of Korea. One of the things that surprised me when I came to the United States was that Korean mothers filled about 1/3 of the class at the highest level in a free class at a school district office where I was going to try to improve my English conversation skills. Of course, there were quite a few people who decided to become permanent residents here, but there were also many mothers who followed for their children’s education. It is also worth adding that there are quite a few Korean mothers in classes of different levels.
As a country with a high passion for education like this, even if the education authorities devise all sorts of tricks to resolve the overheated competition in university admissions, the 100 pills will inevitably be invalid. So, although the government has already announced what can be done in the future, a method that opens the education market so that universities can enter the proper competition and quenches the thirst for education that parents want will be a highly effective method. . As a way to strengthen public education, the government’s introduction of after-school tutoring into schools and subsidizing educational expenses for the low-income class cannot be ignored.
As I started writing, my interest naturally shifted to our education. Let’s take the stem again and return to American education, but this time, let’s discuss the problem. Let’s see if we can even point out what problems of American education we have in our short stay in the United States. Acknowledging that this is close to arrogance, I just write it at the level of a conversation.
An unfamiliar scene in the United States was that even in elementary school, teachers did not pay much attention to children absent or late. When I heard the story of the children, even if the children were late, the teacher did not pay any attention to them and just proceeded with the lesson. This is something that can only happen at universities in Korea, but I guessed it because of the awareness that teachers do not get involved in personal affairs according to individualistic practices. When I think about it that way, I wonder if this is not an educational climate that is too chilly. In the end, I came to the conclusion that the delinquency of American high school students who opened fire on students with firearms came from such a climate. . Including what the problems of American education really are…
Next time, I want to meet you all by writing about the factors that made the United States a great power from a anthropological point of view.