Culture of Discussion Needed in Korea
Yesterday's Korea Herald (December 29, 2005) has an interesting article on Joshua Park's goal of developing a culture of discussion in Korea.
Anyway, that's what I'm calling it since it's something that I've been calling for.
Yang Sung-jin, who interviewed Park for the Herald article, "Korean students urged to learn critical thinking through discussion," begins with the familiar complaint:
Korean students are said to excel in simple memorization, but often fail miserably when it comes to critical, creative and logical thinking.We've heard this so often because it concisely states what many of us in the teaching profession have noticed.
In my opinion, the problem exists not just in the educational system but in Korean society as a whole because Korea lacks a culture of discussion, as I've previously argued.
So, how does Park intend to alter this? He proposes to teach discussion skills in class:
Park is actually teaching English discussion skills to his students, using the Socratic method -- the famous methodology of leading people to understanding through constant questioning and dialogue.This sounds good to me.
"I throw more questions than explanations during the class in a way that helps students see both merits and demerits of a certain issue. Eventually, students discover the problems and formulate their own opinions."
Park also has a recently published book on this issue: Global Talent: The Answer Lies in Discussion (Nexus; 292 pages; 9,800 won), which I assume is a translation of the Korean title. My wife intends to take a look at Park's book in her next visit to downtown Seoul's Gyobo Bookstore -- and maybe also purchase Cho Se-mi's 세계는 지금 이런 인재를 원한다 (roughly translated: The World Wants Talent Like This), which treats this same subject.
Gypsy Scholar says: More of these and faster please.