A Trip to Korea... Without Leaving My Classroom

Our school has had the opportunity to have a few Korean interns spend a couple weeks at our school observing, learning, and teaching. It has been a great opportunity for the school. My class had two wonderful interns teach them culture lessons about Korea. They learned how similar and how diferent our countries are. Birthdays are very different in Korea compared to the US. The games the students play there and what we play are different. The school schedules are very different, and yet they are similar.

The one thought I had from this whole opportunity is how important parents are for their children to learn. School is longer in Korea, but as I spoke with the korean interns, I found that we were similar in curriculum and style of teaching. THe biggest difference is the after school time for the Korean children. Parents have their students study and work until late at night each night to be prepared for the next day in school. There are tutors and classes they go to. We tend to have a different idea about what happens after school. Children should have a little time to play and relax with minimal homework in elementary school. And yet I wonder how our students would improve if we had tutors or classes until late each night for the students? We do pretty well in America, but the legislature is looking for higher test scores and the schools are the ones facing the blame. I see it as not one situation is to blame, but how will society change so the change can come to society?

The other thing that was interesting is the technlogy comparison. The elementary schools do not have any more computers in them than a normal school does. My school has a 1:1 in the upper grades and the schools our interns were from had only a couple computers.

So should we compare ourselves with other countries that have more of an educational focus at home? What are we willing to do at home to help our students? Do we even want to put forth the idea that we as parents need to do more and give up more personal time to help our students? What do we want with educaional change?

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