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Healing a wary, self-cultivating society through education

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Korea’s Leading Think Tank
www.kdi.re.kr
Healing a Wary, Self-cultivating Society through Education
Hisam Kim, Professor at GIST · Adjunct Fellow at KDI
“ C a n education improve Korea’s self-cultivating society which has left its people untrusting of others? Reforming public education, particularly eliminating rote-based learning and encouraging horizontal and participatory classes, will enhance peer relationships, trust and cooperation to ultimately contribute to reversing the decline in social capital.”
Ⅰ. Social Capital: Significance and Current Status
As an intangible asset that stems from the relationship between people, social capital is comprised of trust, networks and norms, and its significance is acknowledged from multiple perspectives. Indeed, mutual trust, cooperation, personal connections and the pressure of social norms can correct market failures caused by public goods and information asymmetry; social trust and public spirit are essential for economic growth, structural reform and transition and; happiness among individuals and local communities is contingent on social support, interpersonal trust and participation in social activities. However, for Korea, the level of social capital remains subpar compared to its economic and human capital. Based on international standards, the level of social trust in Korea is equal to that of a developing country. And, instead of cooperation and partnership, the incessant competitive


Full Text
Title Healing a wary, self-cultivating society through education
Similar Titles
Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Kim, Hisam

Publisher

Sejong : Korea Development Institute

Date 2018-08
Series Title; No KDI FOCUS / No. 91, eng.
Pages 11
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Documents
Original Format pdf
Subject Economy < Economic Administration
Social Development < Education
Holding 한국개발연구원; KDI국제정책대학원
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Abstract

Can education improve Korea’s self-cultivating society which has left its people untrusting of others? Reforming public education, particularly eliminating rote-based learning and encouraging horizontal and participatory classes, will enhance peer relationships, trust and cooperation to ultimately contribute to reversing the decline in social capital.

- The significance of social capital, which is formed of interpersonal relationships and interaction, is recognized throughout society.

- Amid the growing popularity of the “each to his own” mentality, Korea is experiencing a continuous decline in mutual trust.

- The low degree of happiness in Koreans is due to the lack of social capital.

- In Northern European countries that apply horizontal collaborative methods, people with higher education show stronger social trust. But, this is not the case for Korea and East European countries wherein one-sided lectures are more dominant.

- How children are taught is more signifiant to the cultivation of social capital than what is taught. What is critical to fostering social capital is how to teach, not what to teach.

- A high proportion (81%) of Korean respondents described high school as a ‘battlefield.’

- Korean undergraduates have low public trust and prefer self-help methods to collective solutions.

- Korea has the lowest percentage of those who believe that the general public and government officials will meet social norms.

- Korea shows low willingness to make donations and has weak solidarity.

- About 73% of Korean respondents preferred a secluded residential environment for privacy protection over communication and interaction.

- Korean undergraduates believe that as the level of education increases, the level of cooperative sprit decreases.

- Social capital increased further among students who were more frequently exposed to PBL activities.

- Students who received a horizontal-type education showed more increases in their network of friends and better perceptions about social capital at the end of the semester.

- Peer relationships fostered in the course of horizontal interactions were found to improve perceptions and attitudes about social capital.

- Having experienced random grouping in class, students became more receptive to cooperating with others who are unfamiliar.

- Horizontal interaction could be enhanced by adopting constructivism through, for example, PBL and flipped classroom programs.

- It is necessary to extend evaluation systems to an appropriate degree, such as team-based, absolute, student participatory and processfocused formats.

- An innovative education environment such as bottomup changes in classes should be developed and HR systems for faculty need to be redesigned to go hand in hand with educational innovation.

- Transforming teaching methods to be more horizontal and participatory is an important agenda that will contribute to not only enhancing social capital but also to fostering those with skills needed in the future.

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