Farmer-Educator Puts His Theories in Book

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Farmer-Educator Puts His Theories in Book

A farmer who sent all five of his children to prestigious universities in South Korea has written a book to inspire other parents to follow his example and stop believing that money alone can educate children.

In the book, "Children Who Grow by Herding Young Pheasants," that was published Tuesday, the 55-year-old farmer says that children can learn while playing and that the private tuitions that are so common in Korea are not the only way to secure a place at a university.

"Educating children is no different from farming," writes Hwangbo Tae-jo.

His system has been praised by education officials. "Mr. Hwangbo's method is astonishingly effective," said Cho Seok-hee at the Korean Educational Development Institute.

The farmer, a high school dropout, says the most important thing is to help children study by themselves.

"I would ask my children to explain to me a mathematical formula and they would fully absorb the content while telling me what they know," he said.

Another important factor is encouragement. Mr. Hwangbo says in order to boost enthusiasm, he would intentionally ask about easy Chinese characters to raise confidence. "Compliments are like fertilizers," he says.

by Song Yee-ho

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