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uniform thinking

 
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paulzerzan



Joined: 09 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 2:49 pm    Post subject: uniform thinking Reply with quote

The superstition that making students wear uniforms would some how enhance learning is so absurd it makes me dizzy!

First off, the notion that Korean kids are better students than American kids is way off man! Remember Aesop's fable of "the tortoise and the hare"? Now look at the "mis-education" of Korean students. Their lives are so over structured that they miss out on much of childhood. The result? Their fifth graders score higher on tests than American fifth graders. So what?

Fifth graders don't run countries. University graduates do. Korean students are trained to pass tests at the expense of creativity and a "love-of-learning". Theybecome world-class burnouts. The lucky few that make it to university are unmotivated, hence Korean universities are mediocre at best.

Slower is better. American kids, educated with fun and freedom, win out in the end. American universities are the world's best. America graduates the greatest total number (and the greatest population percentage) of people from universities. This is why America is the superpower even though American students always and forever score below their foreign counterparts on tests.

American kids grow up with the ability to think for themselves. Most act more mature in university than do the Korean students. Korean adults tend to have a herd mentality and obsess over fads. They are teens forever!
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Captain Obvious 2.0



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: uniform thinking Reply with quote

paulzerzan wrote:
The superstition that making students wear uniforms would some how enhance learning is so absurd it makes me dizzy!

First off, the notion that Korean kids are better students than American kids is way off man! Remember Aesop's fable of "the tortoise and the hare"? Now look at the "mis-education" of Korean students. Their lives are so over structured that they miss out on much of childhood. The result? Their fifth graders score higher on tests than American fifth graders. So what?


So that means the students have learned more, and with the knowledge than can do more later. They are limited by what they don't know. That's what.

Quote:
Fifth graders don't run countries. University graduates do. Korean students are trained to pass tests at the expense of creativity and a "love-of-learning". Theybecome world-class burnouts. The lucky few that make it to university are unmotivated, hence Korean universities are mediocre at best.


They are "mediocre" only if a student doesn't want to learn. If a student doesn't want to learn, they don't kick them out right away. Many second, third, and fourth chances especially given the high level of education. Compared to my university in Canada where if I failed a course (and didn't withdraw a month before it ended), I would receive academic probation. Happens twice, suspended for a year. Study by fear.


Quote:
Slower is better. American kids, educated with fun and freedom, win out in the end. American universities are the world's best. America graduates the greatest total number (and the greatest population percentage) of people from universities. This is why America is the superpower even though American students always and forever score below their foreign counterparts on tests.


Incorrect. American kids are more ill-equiped on average to compete in the high-end market place which is why the U.S. continually hires foreigners at high rates for intellectually related work. While some American students, of course, do make the grade through their own work, the average is far lower than more industrialized countries.

America does NOT have the highest number of university graduates (that would go to Japan, where the population is less than half that of the U.S.), and less than 1 American in 8 attends university at all (that's including dropouts) while in Korea more then two/thirds of students will acquire a degree in university.

Quote:
American kids grow up with the ability to think for themselves. Most act more mature in university than do the Korean students. Korean adults tend to have a herd mentality and obsess over fads. They are teens forever!


You see, there's the problem. American kids are taught to think for themselves far earlier than other countries. "Rely on yourself!" and be creative. That's fine, and works for some kids. But for most, it's like tossing them behind the wheel of a car and yelling 'DRIVE!" at them just because they can see the road.

Korea, Japan, etc. They focus on sheer knowledge first. By the time they turn around and say "use what you've learned!", they now have a whole lot more background knowledge to draw upon.

You claim that your way was better. That you are a better person because your upbringing was that of toys and games. Hell, let's go to extremes with that arguement. Why have an education at all? You should have played with dolls until you were 18, then told to start digging ditches. Why not? You would be the winner! You got to play for your entire childhood!
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: uniform thinking Reply with quote

Captain Obvious 2.0 wrote:

Korea, Japan, etc. They focus on sheer knowledge first. By the time they turn around and say "use what you've learned!", they now have a whole lot more background knowledge to draw upon.


But the students really don't know how to apply the knowledge. In essence, the teachers have to teach the students how to "be creative"(huh?)...such things I personally feel are easier to teach at a younger age.

This is just personal conjecture, though. No need to point out how valueless my nonstatistical opinion is.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2003 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is already a thread about this:

http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/korea/viewtopic.php?t=626

CM
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paulzerzan



Joined: 09 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 6:33 pm    Post subject: read it again slowly Reply with quote

1) Koreans FORGET what they learn because they only study to pass tests

2) Koreans BURNOUT so when they reach university level they only want to party (to have the childhood they missed out on).

3) Japanese universities are like Korean universities, mediocre at best. Because the students are unmotivated. They are unmotivated because the intense test-based curriculum burned them out.

4) American kids are allowed to have a proper childhood, to be edeucated with freedom and fun. They are not "forced to think for themselves". Thinking for oneself comes naturally when a person is allowed to be themself.

5) Check Nobel Prizes or invention patents or best-selling books or GNP or artistic fame or entrepreneurship or "Bill Gates" types. The US is where its at.
Japan and Korea are alongside Canada (just ahead of Botswana). The US is the intellectual powerhouse of the world. Which is why so many people (talented and untalented) want to immigrate to the US (not Japan or Korea). Its because the US has such great educational opportunities all the egg heads (who aren't yet there) want to go there.

6) I have taught at 4 universities in 3 different countries. I have taught international students. My criticism of Korean education (and Japanese education) is based on testimony of graduates from the best universities in those countries. I followed it up with observations of my own. In Japan and Korea and in other countries.

Say what you will, American education is number one. The US has the highest percentage of University graduates and by far, the best universities.

edited due to attacking the person "ad hominem" - CM
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william beckerson
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, after reading this, I picture the mirror-universe CPA with a goatee and an evil laugh....

And I just realized that I showed myself to be a total nerd just now.

Must be all of that playing and watching TV I was doing as a kid.
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Captain Obvious 2.0



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: read it again slowly Reply with quote

paulzerzan wrote:
1) Koreans FORGET what they learn because they only study to pass tests

If you say so.

Quote:
2) Koreans BURNOUT so when they reach university level they only want to party (to have the childhood they missed out on).

Burnout is a refusal to do anything. Sure, they party more once in university because the university they attend is of greater importance than their marks there to many. The hard part is getting to the university they want. Either they make it, and they relax. Or they failed, and they relax.

Unlike the U.S. system of having a school system that ill-prepares students for the real world thus forces people into studying like they never have before or failing misserably.

Quote:
3) Japanese universities are like Korean universities, mediocre at best. Because the students are unmotivated. They are unmotivated because the intense test-based curriculum burned them out.


That's lovely. The sub-context being that U.S. universities on average are far superior which is a falacy.

Quote:
4) American kids are allowed to have a proper childhood, to be edeucated with freedom and fun. They are not "forced to think for themselves". Thinking for oneself comes naturally when a person is allowed to be themself.

What is a "proper childhood"? Running around playing games? That is the sole judgement of childhood because that was your childhood, thus to say differently would mean that you wasted your childhood?

Of the kids I teach damn near all of them look forward to studying with me because they enjoy it. Not everyone wants to play with GIJoe dolls until they are twelve. My lessons are enjoyable and creative.

Quote:
5) Check Nobel Prizes or invention patents or best-selling books or GNP or artistic fame or entrepreneurship or "Bill Gates" types. The US is where its at.

The same U.S. education system that delivers high school diplomas to thousands of people a year who are functionally illiterate? The same system that has districts where students are given higher marks if they are important to a school sporting team? The same system that uses books that claim evolution is a theory and creationism is more likely to be true? The same school system that demands obedience in the form of the oath of alligance every morning? The list goes on and on.

Further, Bill Gates is NOT a product of the U.S. education system. He is the poster child for what can happen when parents get involved in teaching their kids. Further, he invested a lot of time in using his university's mainframe computer by volunteering to do extra work that allowed him to use it more.

As for nobel prizes, you may want to check again. People who attended only the U.S. public education system tend not to win any prizes. Your tossing in people who have American citizenship but studied abroad, people who earned American citizenship after becoming adults, or foreigners who work for American companies thus creating an image of being an American as all being products of the U.S. public education system.

Quote:
Japan and Korea are alongside Canada (just ahead of Botswana). The US is the intellectual powerhouse of the world. Which is why so many people (talented and untalented) want to immigrate to the US (not Japan or Korea). Its because the US has such great educational opportunities all the egg heads (who aren't yet there) want to go there.

Your understanding of post-secondary education is incorrect.

People go to places like MIT because it's internationally recognized as being a great school because it is. Foreigners go to New York University because they didnt get into a prestigous school back in their home country, and attending a foreign school makes them look very smart as they were able to study in a foreign language.

Plus a number of companies will give preference to people who studied abroad as it showcases their English skills and their ability to work with foreigners.

Quote:
6) I have taught at 4 universities in 3 different countries. I have taught international students. My criticism of Korean education (and Japanese education) is based on testimony of graduates from the best universities in those countries. I followed it up with observations of my own. In Japan and Korea and in other countries.


Your criticism is without value and you give only general views on how you think things are. You are comparing a system you don't understand to one you view through rose coloured glasses.

Quote:
Say what you will, American education is number one. The US has the highest percentage of University graduates and by far, the best universities.

I fail to understand how a country where less than 15% of the population attends university at all (with far fewer ever actually earning a degree) has a higher percentage rate than a country where around 70% of people who finish high school then move on to get a degree.
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elmer



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to Captian O for taking the time to post what I was thinking.

A point of my own regarding the "proper childhood" remark. That one really made me laugh. I happen to know 2 kids who started in American preschools and elementarys and then came here. Both said that Korean elementary school was way more fun.

Middle and high school is a whole different ball of wax. I have no problem with taking education more seriously at an earlier age, but they go too far in Korea. The pressures put onto these kids is immense, not only my their parents and society at large, but also the fear of getting knocked upside the head if they do poorly on a test. I do feel that this is changing, however slowly in our eyes.

Eduation is not perfect anywhere in the world. It is up to us, in this now global world, to look and and examine the different methods and try to apply what works best while changing those methods that are not working. If you are passionate about education, then DO something. Don't just sit on your soapbox.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Captain Obvious, I've seen this exact same debate on another Korean society/music forum, and the most level-headed response I saw was this:

Quote:
Here's my take on this issue of America's schools. Unlike most other countries, US schools allow students to excell without bounds. It isn't uncommon for a 5th grader to be taking Calculus and analyzing great British literature. However, the schools never force kids into rigorous study. This is a choice that is given to the student. Comparing this to a country like Japan, in which students are forced to study at a relatively higher level than the average American student, the US system looks relaxed. I wouldn't say that this takes away from the available education that America provides. In essence, America provides great opportunity for anyone who is willing to take it.


I pretty much agree with that. And I think this is what paulzerzan is attempting to say as well. U.S. schools offer more potential to excel, though that doesn't perfectly translate into an army of wonder students.
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