[FOUNTAIN]Education reform stirring in Busan

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[FOUNTAIN]Education reform stirring in Busan

Daisy Wademan’s “Remember Who You Are : Life Stories That Inspire the Heart and Mind” features the following anecdote:
A business administration student was taking a final exam in zoology. The T.A. pushed a wagon into the classroom. Inside the wagon was a stuffed bird underneath a big sack. Two long thin legs, one pair of hooked claws and feathers that were sticking out from the sack were the only parts of the bird the student could see.
The T.A. said, “This is the final exam.” The students were told to figure out the bird’s migration pattern, how it communicates and how it mates.
The students freaked out. One stormed out of the classroom shouting, “I can’t take this kind of exam.” However, the exam was held as it was scheduled for four hours.
This was Jeffrey Rayport’s experience from his undergraduate years. Mr. Rayport, who is currently a professor at Harvard Business School, tells this story to his students on the last day of class. The message is: There is no certainty in life or in business. When we have to make decisions based on limited information, we need faith. The faith in oneself is the key to help one get out of difficulties.
Harvard Business School is strong. But what makes Harvard stand out is the last class of each course, when the professors recount the most valuable lesson they have learned in their lives, about their challenges, successes, failures and discouragement, and so on. The professors teach their students these lessons because they know just simple knowledge is not enough to create talented leaders.
Recently, good news came from Busan about education revolutions, such as the “Hospital School,” in which the teacher visits the hospital where the students are staying as patients.
The main characteristics of these movements are making the students the top priority, changing the classroom education and tearing down the walls of the school.
One of the reasons people kept leaving Korea was because the education here had no hope. With that in mind, it appears that the “Busan Education Revolution” is the “blessing that fell like lightning” for Korean education.


by You Sang-cheol

The writer is a deputy international news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.
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