motiontodismiss wrote:The American method has proven itself to be more effective. It's meaningless to compare the results of the exceptional student-on both ends of the spectrum. The top and bottom 5% will be that way regardless. I find the average American student to be more intelligent than the average Korean student.
So if the Korean system isn't such a complete failure, why is every smart student in Korea gunning to study at boarding schools and college abroad (usu. Canada, US, UK, Australia, NZ)? Clearly the students themselves and the parents are dissatisfied-and they're voting with their feet. Many study abroad, get jobs there, and never go back. Some go back only to repeat the vicious cycle of sending their own progeny overseas to be educated. However, I will admit that it's easier to get a decent paying job in the US with an H1B than it is to get a full time job in Korea.
I could challenge this, "I find the average American student to be more intelligent than the average Korean student," by saying hypothetically that in my case I
found the average American student was a drooling stoner while the average Korean student was doing a Ph.D at MIT.
Our respective personal experiences/impressions don't really hold water in this argument.
Besides, if you're going to be talking about INTELLIGENCE, you could even bring up issues such as intelligence disparities due to genetics/ ethnicity / environment, but that's irrelevant since we're only talking about Korean higher education.
Re. students going abroad: I'm actually glad you brought that up.
Does the fact that some, even many (because it's clearly not EVERY) smart student is studying abroad indicate that foreign education MUST be absolutely better for everyone? Not necessarily. You have to factor in the importance of English these days, regardless of what country you're talking about, and that's not even a uniquely S. Korean issue. It's valuable in most of the Asian countries and even in European ones. Why? Because the English-speaking market is ridiculously huge and it includes the U.S.
S. Korea is a tiny tiny place. It's about the size of Indiana. The fact that there's a huge population in a small area, especially Seoul, is going to influence a lot of people in wanting to go abroad and live elsewhere. That's a quality of life issue.
People here also still believe in the American Dream and it being a land of meritocracy.
These are relevant factors that fly in the face of simply concluding that "It's the education driving everyone abroad."
It should also be mentioned that studying abroad gives you an advantage during job interviews because of the English factor. Interviewees are chosen on the basis of resumes, and the only way they currently do that is by looking at undergrad prestige and English scores a la TOEFL. If you're beneath a certain score you never get called in for interviews. So what should one do? You try to go abroad, and you send your kids abroad if you are financially able.
I find it silly that we're even derailing the thread with this issue.
All I'm trying to say is that there's much more to the issue than "Korean Education = hideous" and "Foreign Education = wonderful."
In fact, it's the large number of people who unequivocally think just that (not just Korean parents) and willingly shell out ridiculously huge amounts of tuition to send their kids to crappy TTT colleges abroad who perpetuate the myth. It actually works out well for the increasing number of foreign students like me going to college here, though. We get Harvard / Oxford educated professors and a great education for only a fraction of the price.
Some Korean institutions are on par with some respected and more well-known foreign institutions. I would appreciate it if one would not knock all of them unless one has actually actually studied at both types.