The Ministry of Education (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, KIM Sang-kon) announced the use of the 'new textbooks' for grades 3, 4, 7, and 9. The 'new textbooks' have increased the level of student participation and scaled down the previous textbooks' emphasis on explanation and memorization.
In particular, the amount of contents are cut down, and student activities that incorporate real-life experiences for authentic learning are phased-in to promote the key competencies* necessary for future society.
*(Key competencies) Self-management competency, knowledge-information processing skills, creative thinking skills, aesthetic-emotional competency, communications skills, and civic competency
It is expected to resolve the existing textbook-related issues raised by experts due to excessive amount of contents, unsuitable structure, and disparity with everyday life experiences that fail to induce students' interest and participation.
- From instructions that teach about textbooks to instructions that promote learning through textbooks
The following are exemplary cases of textbooks selected by experts and the Delphi survey:
(Korean) Instead of studying about reading and writing, students will have an opportunity to select one book to read during class so they can lead discussions and actively participate in various activities that would ultimately enhance their authentic language arts skills.
(Social studies) While the existing textbooks mainly checked for students' understanding as a result of learning (e.g., what they know), the 'new textbooks' emphasize self-directed studying and activities that link life in and outside the classroom.
(Math) The amount and level of contents are optimal for each grade level to mitigate students' academic burden, and activities infuse collaboration and exploration. The practical aspect of math is accentuated through everyday math examples.
(Science) Elementary textbooks incorporate knowledge and interactive activities for enhancing student engagement in learning. Middle school textbooks provide creative and integrative activities to help students connect knolwedge and core principles to real-life experiences.
(English) Textbooks provide contents that connect students' everyday situations, and systematically provide participatory learning activities for acquiring English ex-pressions so they can use what they have learned in real life.
According to the analysis of the Delphi suvery, all field experts indicated how textbooks and instructions should continue to gear towards this direction, thought it may take time and efforts both by teachers and students, and expressed their anticipation to see real changes through the 'new textbooks.'
Director-General Nam of the Ministry of Education's Curriculum Policy Division said, "It is time for the learning community to drive education that raises necessary competencies for future society." He added, "the Ministry of Education, together with local offices of education, will continue to provide administrative and financial support and give necessary means to promote participatory learning."