On 30th of April, Deputy Minister and Minister of Education KIM, Sang-gon visited the Attached Elementary School of Gongju National University of Education to attend a class where project-based learning* was taking place using new textbooks**, and listened to the opinions of the students.
* 3rd grade elementary school social classes "Gongju folk tale: writing project/ (4th grade Korean class) "Reading one book per semester project"
** New textbook: in year 2018, 3rd and 4th grade of elementary school, 1st year of middle school, 1st year of high school
▶ The textbook that induces students' participation is a textbook that doesn't give answers, but instead asks questions like "What are you curious about?, "How will you cooperate with others?", "What have you learned?" and "How will you apply it in your life?"
※ In a research on the current situation of teenagers' language use and culture (December 2012), 3,429 students from a 4th grade elementary school to 3rd grade high school were surveyed.
(Percentage of teenagers who don't participate in classes: 58.5%)= Don't participate at all (16.5%)+ Don't participate much (42%)
(Reasons why they are not participating)= Not interested in the content of the classes (26.4%), Don't know what to ask (24.1%)
The Deputy Minister visited a social studies class for 3rd graders and participated in learning projects which use Gongju's folk tales to engage in role plays, storytelling and interviews.
※ 1st semester of 3rd grade social classes: Project "Tales of My Town" (16th April ~30th April, 7 classes in total)
Subsequently, in 4th grade Korean classes, students shared questions about the book they read in class and listened to various opinions of their friends to try to fully understand different opinions.
※ 1st semester of 4th grade Korean classes: Project "Let's read a book and share thoughts."
In a meeting after classes, teachers, principals, parents and experts shared their impression about the classes as well as ideas to improve the textbook and classes to support further progress.
In this meeting, parents were surprised to see their childres express their thoughts and ask questions, and said,
"When we were students, we were used to only look to the teacher, but children nowadays exchange their thoughts freely and talk about their impressions. I am sure that this will contribute to making children become more creative."(Jun, Geum-Ok)
"By exchanging their diverse thoughts about the books they have read, children become aware that not only their own thoughts matter but also those of others. Also, they realize that they can learn from those different thoughts."(Kim, Eunjin)
-Parents who participated in open classes (12th of April of 2018) at the Attached Elementary School of Gongju National University of Education.
Teachers contended that the classes were designed to encourage students' active participation, and therefore the "Teachers' Learning Community" has become more important. The teachers added that to reach such goals, more administrative as well as financial support were necessary.
Professor Jung Hye Seung of Kyungin Education University said that the key point of these classes is the "inquisitive" textbook, and emphasized that, "Students should not be just answering questions, but should try to find an answer by asking questions. If the textbooks are to be an intermedium, they should show what questions to ask, and further guide students, so that they can formulate their own questions and ask them."
Deputy Minister Kim said, "With the change that the 4th Industrial Revolution will bring about and the future that is uncertain, now is the time to be concerned about the fundamentals of education.", and added, "It is known that if you invest 10,000 hours in a certain subject, you can become an expert in that subject. The 12,726 hours that students spend in elementary and secondary schools are very important for our students. Therefore, we will thoroughly discuss what our students will be learning and experiencing during those classes.
※ (Total hours of official regular classes) elementary school: 5,892 hours; middle school: 3,366 hours; high school: 3,468 hours.
* unofficial translation