Survey says Korean kids less interested in class
Korean elementary students scored the lowest among four countries in their interest in school classes and respect for others, the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation announced yesterday.
The institute conducted a survey of 2,349 fourth graders at elementary schools in Korea, the United Kingdom, France and Japan.
While 55 percent of French students answered they find their school classes interesting, followed by the U.K. with 48 percent and Japan with 42 percent, only 35.2 percent of Korean students said so.
Eighteen percent of Korean students said they concentrate during class, lower than in the U.K. with 46 percent, France with 46 percent and Japan with 35.7 percent.
“Some students do not listen to what I teach and just study on their own during class,” said a 28-year-old teacher at an elementary school in Seoul, who refused to be named. “I think they lost their interest in class because they have already learned everything at private cram schools.”
Korean students also scored the lowest in respect or tolerance for others. While more than half of students in France and the U.K. said they learn to understand or respect others in the classroom, only 15 percent of Korean students said so.
More than half the students in France and England also answered that they learn and practice social rules and regulations in the classroom, followed by 20 percent of students in Japan and only 18 percent in Korea.
“In England and France, schools pay much attention to students’ compliance with rules and tolerance for others,” said Jeon Hyo-seop, a researcher at the institute.
“To discipline students and raise their interest in class, much improvement needs to be made including reducing the number of students per class.”
By Baek Il-hyun JoongAng Ilbo [firstname.lastname@example.org]