Why do you study ? to get a good job or to get a sense of achievement? Maybe there are many reasons to study. According to the Learning Curve report, in 2012 South Korea grabbed second place in an assessment of the education system of 50 countries. The report suggests that the Korean education system is well established and students are actually excellent in studying. However, there is no perfect education system. Each of them has strengths and weaknesses. Based on each education system, students’ learning styles across cultures is also very different from each other. These differences in learning styles can be seen in a comparison of three different education systems, from South Korea, Israel and America.
First of all, the South Korean education system is definitely competitive and students are motivated by the fear of falling behind their peers. Also, Korea is all about fitting in, listening to the teacher’s lectures, knowing the one right answer, and succeeding on multiple choice tests. So, Korean students’ learning style is more focused on memorizing. After finishing the regular school curriculum in the late afternoon, they head to after-school academies called Hak-wons to continue studying. Every year in November, the college entrance exam is conducted. This single set of multiple-choice questions that students take that day determines their future.
Second, Israel is a complex multi-cultural society, a fact that is reflected in its sophisticated educational system. According to the research, especially for Jews, education continues to be a fundamental value for a long time and is recognized as the key to the future. For Jewish students’ studies, the library is a unique place. I am sure that in our main library, you are totally silent when you study. But Jews talk with each other and have debates and conversations in pairs in the library. Their method of learning is not just about reading and memorizing texts, it is about engaging in dialogue not only with texts but also with other person to discuss it. And through this, they develop their own opinion and really take lessons from texts and the diverse opinions they share.
Finally, based on the concept of individualization, the American education system encourages students to find themselves, by speaking up, thinking out of the box, debating, and essay writing. In America’s schools, most of classes take the form of a debate. And students actively participate in class discussions. Through this, they learn how to have their own opinion and how to respect opinions and questions of other students. Also, a major characteristic of American education is the high priority given to sports, clubs and activities by the community and the students themselves.
After graduation, you will get a job. However, at a certain age you have to say goodbye to work. After retirement, you may feel isolated and disconnected from the world around you. But here is a good way that you can keep being actively involved in the world. Be a HOMO ACADEMICUS! Enjoy seeing some other things happening, learning from the past and staying active. Through this, you can take a more active role in the world. I hope you find out something you are interested in while you are in college and fall in love with your studies. I am sure that it will definitely bring you happiness and a bright future.
Kim Yu-young firstname.lastname@example.org
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