Thanks Cheri for giving me this link, it is very interesting:
While I was watching this video and listening to the comments, a lightbulb went on in my head.
I know this is a big debate, but I don't see the huge issue. The education system is not at fault here nor is it failing. The Korean education system runs off the same principles as the US system. Everyone who goes to college in the US also takes a long and tedious test called the SAT or ACT, and its a huge factor in what schools you get into.
The biggest difference between the US and Korea? The emphasis each society puts on education. Is it right to put so much stress and emphasis on education? I don't know, but I can't say its wrong either. What is wrong with wanting your kid to go to the best school, and get the best job, and set up a life that is the best he/she can get? The thing is, in Korea, everyone wants that and it becomes a simple supply and demand scenario. The thing is you hear about people complaining about it and people worrying about the kids...but the truth of the matter is, does anyone have a better alternative? If the current system didn't exist then how would society decide which students get into the most selective Universities. Which students are going to volunteer to "bow out" of the rat race first and go to a "second tier school"?
Has America lost its fighting spirit? I think as Americans we shouldn't pity the Koreans, instead I think we should be asking ourselves why has this not occurred in the US? I think sometimes the US doesnt expect enough of its students. Sure there are always the students who are self motivators or a few parents who "push" their kids. These are the ones that go to the Ivy League Schools or the MITs out there. However, it seems that the vast majority of the American Society is content with State Colleges and Community Colleges.
One thing is for sure, you have to admire the Korean determination, focus, and drive in this area. Maybe thats why its able to be the 9th economic growing power in the world? Im not saying the zealousness they have is necessarily healthy, but man! I sure wish I could get a glipse of what the US would be if the average American had the same zeal as the average Korean.
The difference isnt the education system or schools. The Korean schools themselves are actually doing better then the schools in the US. How do I come to this conclusion? The fact that the schools are providing exactly what its society wants of it. If its society puts so much pressure to educate their kids (whether its only book smart versus street smart), its accomplishing what its asked to do. And its doing a very good job at that. I don't think its any debate that Korean educated students are highly ranked on an international standard, which is amazing for the size of the country.