[Letters]Fix the system, not the teachers

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[Letters]Fix the system, not the teachers

The Feb 3 editorial, “Effective teachers,” stated, “If Korea wants to take its public education to the next level by improving the quality of teachers, the teacher evaluation system should be introduced right away.”

The premise is that teachers are the problem with education in Korea.

I believe this is a misplaced diagnosis of the problem. Pointing fingers at teachers as being the source of hurt in Korea’s education system is misleading.

I have taught in Korea for over 12 years at all levels, from private institutes to public schools and in universities. I also have taught teachers at training camps. In my experience, Korean teachers are wonderful and excellent.

The rules and environment under which the teachers work create a less than effective system.

If it were possible to create the perfect teacher, or even an entire staff of perfect teachers and put them into a system where class sizes exceed 50 students, where cheating is ingrained, teacher evaluation is based on popularity, administration is more concerned about appearing efficient through doctoring student assessments and teachers are stripped of all authority for discipline in class - then even they would be labeled as poor.

The focus needs to address the situation under which teachers teach, not the teachers themselves.

David Woelke, dave_woelke@hotmail.com

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