Cultivate the culture of debating from an early age

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Cultivate the culture of debating from an early age

As a university student, I would like to give some perspective on your recent article, “University classrooms in Korea lack discussion,” published on Sept. 14. The author, Cho Won-bin, presented the current problem common in universities in Korea of a lack of mutual communication between professors and students in class and introduced some solution plans for how universities have tried to foster the culture of debating.

However, I found the plans are not properly addressing the source of the problem. Most of proposed plans were about reforming or changing the system of university curricula, but we actually need to focus on the students; this is the real source where the problem comes from.

These days, Korean students are quite passive and pliable. Of course, it is not their nature, but they have adopted it through a one-way teaching system for a long time. In my university, there are many professors who have tried to foster a culture of debating by cultivating a friendly atmosphere or using interesting materials that help students think or share their own ideas, but these efforts were not productive because students still kept silent and were afraid to answer. Even if we build up good curricula or programs, it is worthless if students are unwilling to participate.

To solve the problem, I suggest that the experts cultivate the culture of debating starting from the primary education system. For current university students who are already not familiar with the culture of debating, we need to give them motivation, like finding their interests, so that professors actually apply it to the class. People become enthusiastic when they do something they really adore.

by Heo Jeong-pi, Student at Seokyeong University

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