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Social Development

Healing a wary, self-cultivating society through education

  • Healing a wary, self-cultivating society through education
  • Korea Development Institute
  • [Sejong] : Korea Development Institute
Resources Content Information Item Table
Title Healing a wary, self-cultivating society through education
Author Korea Development Institute
Publisher [Sejong] : Korea Development Institute
Publication Date 2018 - 08
Material Type Video
Country South Korea Holding Korea Development Institute
Language English License


Can most people be trusted? Social capital is an intangible asset that is formed through relationships between people and includes trust, networks and norms. It is essential to economic growth and structural reform as well as to the happiness of individuals and local communities. According to an international survey, Korea’s social capital, which was measured by the trust in others, has dropped far below that of advanced countries. As a result, competition has taken over cooperation and a ‘each to his own“ mentality now dominates Korean society. In fact, a survey conducted on the university students of four countries in 2017 found that 81% of Korean respondents thought high school was a ‘battlefield.“ Social trust increases in line with the amount of education received. But, while this is very true for countries in Northern Europe, it does not apply to those in the Eastern part of the continent and Korea. Then, what is the cause for the imbalance? Past studies found that the formation of social capital is more contingent on teaching methods than on education level. This is proven by the high levels of social capital in Northern Europe where horizontal teaching methods are actively practiced and the low levels in Eastern Europe and Korea where vertical teaching methods prevail.

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