Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Extra credits.

By now, dear readers, you have become familiar with the English program I teach in Korea. Maybe even a little too familiar.  And being the Guest Engligh Teacher, I guess I can't really help it. But the Korean public school system actually offers elementary school students some really interesting subjects aside from the basic courses such as Korean, English or math, and I think our own home countries could really benefit from implementing them.

First is Ethics. In Korea, even students as young as elementary-age learn how to deal with dilemmas ethically and think critically. With the rise of technology (and especially in Korea where kids of all ages have easier access to the internet and other privileges), it is really crucial to have students aware of issues that can affect their daily lives, such as anonyminity online. Another part of the Ethics course is to examine the North Korean language-- which differs slightly from the South Korean language-- to prepare for re-unification. When I asked my co-teachers how they know so much about the North Korean language (since NK has that whole "I'm not speaking to you" attitude most of the time), they said that people examine the news broadcasts and assess the language differences from there. Fascinating.

Another class that my school is particularly proud of (and one that really impresses me) is our Safety program. Next to the English lab, we have an entire area dedicated to learning all kind of safety precautions, including CPR, fire safety, and how to drive a car through arcade-style simulations. The other day, someone left it unlocked and this waygook took the perfect opportunity to snap a couple shots of all the glory that is this room.

I'd like to note that kids in Korea cannot get a drivers' license until they're at least 18, but most people wait until they're well into their 20's. Still, it's good for kids to know about traffic laws, and be familiar with driving in the event of an emergency!

That beaming firefighter's name is Sappy. She and her male counterpart, Happy, are about to put out the fire in that burning building. I walk past this wall poster about 49812450 times every day.

When I see amazing programs like this in place for students in Korea, I wonder what we could be doing better for our young minds in the States if not providing them with the skills to be safe and think critically about their world. I think Happy and Sappy would agree.
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1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see what the talented, innovative, inspired Miss Laura brings home to the american education system! :)