Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kids, School, and Life

There is an article in today's paper about growing discipline issues in the classroom.  It says:
  • 13.2% chatted in class in 1988 compared to 47.9% in 2008 (this seems too low)
  • 1.5% read other books in class compared to 13.9% in 2008
It mentions a huge increase in kids going to cram schools and cites this as one reason kids were screwing off in class because they already studied the material in their cram schools.  Bored kids=bad behavior.  This could be somewhat true. Could be they are trying to get leisure time where they can.

I think there are a few more likely reasons. Many classes are boring lecture style classes and kids get bored and act badly. This is probably exacerbated by change to a faster moving/shorter attention span culture. As I mentioned before, kids sometimes sleep in class.   They fall behind and then they do not understand anything and become bored.  Again, bored kids act badly. Finally, the respect for teachers, while still much higher than the US, is diminishing. Too many kids feel it is OK to be disrespectful to their teachers.

Another paper has a story of another teacher who has solved this problem: "He dashes curse words in the classroom. He beats students with a shovel."  Only in Korea would this sentence be followed by "and the students love him".

Teachers complain about the students, they do not know how to improve their behavior besides what they have done in the past (beating them) which is kind of against the rules (but still widely done).  There does not seem to be training going on regarding this (I asked)...seems like there is a desperate need for it.

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