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19th Essay Contest
  • 19th Essay Contest Winner
  • 승인 2010.12.06 21:50
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The 19th English Essay Contest was held, hosted by The Post, on 19th November.  The following essays were selected from the primary among thirty six entries.  Students were asked to wirte one of the topics : Physical punishment in school, What the benefits of holding the G20 in Korea and Student’s own portrait at the age of 40.  “There were many excellent essays submitted for the Dongguk writing contest.” said one of the professors who examines the essays contest.  After carefully reading and re-reading each one, these essays were selected for the following reasons.

 

 

Jang Jae-won’s essay “Physical Punishment, No Reason to Exist” struck professor right away with its “in medias res” opening.  The writer veered from the textbook approach of opening an essay by using a dramatic approach to grab the reader by putting us in “the middle of the action”.   This caught the attention as this writer was one of the only ones to try this powerful writing technique.  After capturing interest, the writer engaged professor with his vivid descriptions and passionate, clearly-argued and well-articulated writing. Additionally, this writer had impeccable English.

 

   
 
   
 

 

Ko Seong-hun’s essay “Education & Punishment don’t go well together” was written in a totally different, but no less compelling, style.  This writer impressed professor with the rare concision and elegance of his writing, the cogency of his argument, as well as his near-fluent level of English.

Kim Ji-hye’s essay “Physical Punishement will be punished” impressed professor with its passion, good use of questions to prompt the reader’s engagement, very good level of English, and its powerful concluding paragraph.

 

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Physical punishment, No reason to exist

   

Jang Jae-won

   
 
Jang Jae-won
Dept. of  International Trade

 

It is 8:00 AM and as always the class begins. Unfortunately, Jaewon, just as the day before, is the last one to arrive. Soon the teacher comes out of the class room, without asking the reason for his excuse, he hits his butt 5 times with a baseball bat. Feeling a huge blue bruise swelling up his butt. Jaewon comes into the class, grabs his chair and gets ready for the class. Then, he sees his peer student shacking her whole body back and forward. Thinking “She must have been tired. What was she up to last night?” Jaewon feels sorry for her and decides not to wake her up. However, as everyone except Jaewon noticed, the teacher calls her to the front desk and starts hitting her butt, just as he did a few minutes ago.


This is not an episode of some violent academic institution nor a school full of mental teachers and brainless students. Actually, what is above is one of many scene of my high school days which I still remember, which means that this kind of physical punishing is being done in normal schools of our own country, even at this moment. Physical punishment, which is also called corporal punishment, is being done in every single school in this country, without any doubt. As a student who has experienced this irrational system for all those teenage years, I’d like to state a few reasons explaining why such a system should be banned and moreover vanished.


First of all, it is negative to students’ behavior and school work. Some supporters of physical punishment argues that hitting students, helps them (the students) develop good behavior and stay consistent with their studying habits. However, what students learn from being hit are violent memories, hostility and obviously pain. Also, students are not willing to be hit because of how much or how eagerly they study. Rather to study or not depends on the students’ decisions as long as they do not disturb the others.


Physical punishment brings students bad emotion towards teachers and even the school life. Imagine how much a student’s pride would be damaged if he or she has to ask for academic help, recommendation for college, good grades and etc., to a person who hits him every single day. Would he be comfortable to ask for any help? What’s the point of having teachers at school if students have to be stressed because of them. What’s the point of sending students to school if such a system distracts them from learning.


There are many alternatives for physical punishment. For example, detention after school time can be a good replacement. The whole point of punishing a student is to make him be aware of what he has done wrong and reflect or examine on it. In order to do that, it is important to give him/her some times to think. Also, detention can be considered more logical to students. Physical punishment has no specific regulation it is up to how angry the teacher is or how strongly the teacher hits. However,  giving a student a job to do or making him/her think can seem more rational and productive to the students since it actually makes students themselves do something as a result of their faults.


Once again I strongly feel the punishing system is an unnecessary and even harmful to the students focusing on their school lives. I strongly believe that the whole point of school’s teaching and even punishing is to make students learn from their fault and become better indifiduals. Hitting or smashing unfortunately does not allow students to think. I believe it is necessary to find other alternatives that help students develop good behavior and prevent getting stressed by school.

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Education & Punishment don’t go well together

 

   

Ko Seong-hun

   
 

 Ko Seong-hun

Dept.  of  Police   administration

 

Some people may think that punishment in school should be allowed because it helps teachers to control students to study hard and behave without harming others. I believe, however, students should be free of punishment in school.
One reason I disagree with punishment in schools is because when teachers persuade students to do in the right way, they can correct their wrong behavior and understand the meaning of their behaviors better. When I was in high school, there were two different home-room teachers. One was so strict and gave physical hardships whenever his students did wrong, such as getting low score in mid-term exams or fighting each other.

 On the other hand, the other teacher was also strict, but she always explained why her student behaviors were not acceptable and helped them correct their wrongly formed thought. At the end of that year, the students in the former class were still problematic and there wasn’t any improvement in their behaviors, whereas students in the latter class were praised for their improvement.


Another reason, I dissent from punishment in schools is because students are easily intimidated by the heavy atmosphere, which makes them reluctant to show themselves. The results of a study conducted by the Korean Education Department from 1997 to 2008 supports my point. Subjects who were elementary school students were separated into two groups; students in the first group went to school whose faculty members were so strict and harsh that students just followed their directions without showing their own colors. On the other hand, students in the letter group spent their school days with mild yet motivative teachers freely showing their own characters. After 10 years, researchers tracked down the two groups of students. Interestingly, they found that the former students were reserved and were unable to express their own opinions without difficulty. On the contrary, the latter students were sociable and were quite good at conveying their thought.


To sum it up, students can improve themselves and they can expose their own colors only without punishment in their schools. For these reason I agree with the idea that teachers should educate their students without punishment.


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Physical punishment will be punished

 

   

Kim Ji-hye

   
 

Kim Ji-hye

Dept.  of  Law

 

A week ago, there was an incident between a teacher and a girl in a middle school. They grabbed each other’s hair and fought when the teacher forced the girl, speaking so loudly during the class, to leave and the students did not follow her order. Why did this happen? On November 1st, there was a rule announced that teachers must not use any physical punishment to instruct. As a result, there have been many changes around schools. Physical punishment used to be called as a punishment of love, but is that so? Are people able to follow rules if they are physically hurt? I strongly believe teachers can teach students properly and even better without any physical action for the following reasons.


First of all, teachers can put their personal emotions on the physical punishment. If teachers can give a punishment to a student just for the student’s sake, there should be no problem. However, a study in psychology shows that people get mad and tend to fall into hitting others without reasonable thoughts as people punching. Teachers are still people with feelings. It is possible that teachers get so stressed and tense that they abuse their authority. It seems it never happens, but the truth is it does happen a lot in school. Physical punishment brings people' feeling out of them. How instructive is it when teachers punish students with their own emotions?


Secondly, supporters of physical punishment argue that students with serious issues will never know if they are wrong without physical punishment. However, how many students can not distinguish right from wrong? What they need is not to know what is wrong and good, but to know how they can be changed. Most students making some troubles at school have been hurt physically or emotionally. It is a teacher’s job to take a good care of them. The more often teachers punish them physically, the farther student go away from our society and school, which means it could be harmful for human society.


Lastly, there are also other methods for teachers to use for education. For instance, when I was in a public high school in U.S.A., my teachers gave a warning paper to students if one student caused more troubles over and over, he had to talk with a principal or in a worse case, his parents had to come. Another way could be a volunteer work. Around school and community, there are some works to be done and they can use some help from students. If teacher find a student getting worse and not better, the final punishment without physical punishment could be to enforce him to quit a school and put the fact on a record, so people will know he has caused some serious problems. Many developed countries have some feasible substitutes for physical punishment by teachers. Teachers in Korea can also apply them for better instruction without corporal actions.


We, people, are human being. To believe that students only listen and behave better with corporal punishment is like not thinking them as human. Physical punishment triggers deeper anger and madness, but only little chance for good teaching. People tend to consider that the end justifies the means. Even though students who have experienced physical punishment seem so fine and act like they have changed, people can never know what they feel and think inside. A violation is a violation. To give students corporal punishment for a better behavior in appearance is never justified. Good education starts from inside of heart, not from physical action.

 


 

 

19th Essay Contest Winner  dgupost@dongguk.edu

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