Sunday, April 3, 2011

Korean Teenager News

Instead of my usual "Education News Roundup" I'm going to focus on two stories from the paps reporting on survey results comparing Korean teenagers' attitudes to those of other nations'. Both surveys came out of the National Youth Policy Institute, but were carried by Korea Times and Korea Herald, respectively.

1) Korean teens less happy than Chinese, Japanese
71.2 percent of surveyed young Koreans said they are happy, lower than the 92.3 percent of Chinese contentment and 75.5 percent of Japanese gladness.
The survey was conducted on 2,268 Korean middle and high school students, 1,167 Chinese and 1,144 Japanese students last October and November.
Of the Korean students who answered "yes" to the question, 20.8 percent said they were very happy, far lower than the ratio of Chinese students' 60.2 percent and still less than that of the 27.6 percent in Japan.
Korean teens also showed the least contentment with their free time, 67.5% being satisfied, presumably with amount and type of leisure time, compared to 78 percent of Chinese and 74.7 percent of Japanese respondents. While it is easy to blame this on lengthy and intensive study time, as the researcher does, it is worth remembering that Japanese students run a similar prep gauntlet.

Check out this BBC report on South Korean education.

Koreans, at 48%, were sandwiched between Chinese (83.7%) and Japanese (23.9%) when asked if they will do anything for their country if it is in danger. Of course, the males will do their mandatory military service, so perhaps they feel it satisfies the requirement.

2) S. Korean teens' social skills among worst in world: report
No surprise there.
Each nation was assessed in the three areas of relationship promotion, social cooperation and conflict management through surveys of students' participation in local and school communities, their perceptions of community and foreigners, as well as democratic solutions to conflicts, the report said.
South Korean teens scored the lowest among the 36 nations with scores of zero in the two areas -- relationship promotion and social cooperation -- that valued highly voluntary participation in local and school communities.
Koreans scored well in the third component, Conflict Resolution, because of their ability to list off possible methods for democratic resolutions--not because of any demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts democratically. The article continues:
Teenagers in Thailand had the best social skills with 0.69 points, while Indonesia (0.64), Ireland (0.60), Guatemala (0.59), Britain (0.53) and Chile (0.52) followed closely behind.
"Social interaction skills are linked to the ability to live harmoniously with culturally or socioeconomically different counterparts, so they are very important to teenagers who are the leading players in a globalized and multicultural age," the report [from NYPI] said.
"(We must) pay attention to the fact that Korean children scored well only in areas with a strong emphasis on written assessments and performed very poorly in areas related to internal and external activities. There is a need for measures to change the policy on developing knowledge toward nurturing independence," it added.


조안나 said...

sorry, I don't beleive for a minute that 95 percent of Chinese kids are happy. I wonder what percentage of American teens are happy..

Tuttle said...

Well, i don't really either. Such surveys have limited value, but we can at least get some comparative dats--assuming they lie at about the same rate.

I found the following about US youth:
"The study found that overall, most American young people (aged 13-24) report being happy with their lives and are optimistic about the future. 65 percent of respondents say they are happy with the way things are going in their lives in general and 62 percent think they will be happier in the future than they are now. Only one out of five say they are unhappy. Young people who are non-Hispanic whites are happier than blacks and Hispanics by a wide margin: 72 percent of whites say they are happy with life in general, compared with just 56 percent of blacks and 51 percent of Hispanics."

robyn said...

Hi Tuttle, I'm glad to have found your blog! We will be hosting a SK exchange student this coming school year, and any cultural info is good!

Thanks, Robyn in Colorado