December 8, 11
A Contrast of the Education System Between the Republic of South Korea and the United States of America: Which is Superior?
"The future belongs to the nation that best educates its citizens” stated President Barak Obama in early 2009 as he delivered a speech to fellow Americans on a new education plan in which he praised and applauded the Republic of South Korea’s education system (Quaid Paragraph 4). Obama expressed his aspiration to lengthen school hours and school days for students across the nation by stating that “if they can do that in South Korea, we can do it right here in the United States of America” (Quaid Paragraph ...view middle of the document...
Individuals around the world are likely to have a different opinion on what makes a distinguished education system. Regarding the question as to which system is superior is indeterminable due to aspects that there are cultural differences between these two nations and defining a great education system is rather subjective.
If an American student were to suddenly move schools to South Korea, that student would not be able to achieve academic success immediately. The same goes the other way around: if a Korean student were to move schools to America, they also would not be able to succeed academically right away. Agreeing to this statement, Professor James Paul Gee defined Discourse as not just the language we use, but he describes it as a social construct similar to culture in his essay titled “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction”. He defined it as “…not a language, and surely not grammar, but saying (writing)-doing-being-valuing-believing combinations (Gee 484). In fact, in order to master a Discourse, one must go through a rigorous process of training focusing on social practices and interactions with other individuals who have already mastered that Discourse. Then he described Discourse as either primary or secondary. Primary being the ones we learn through our homes and families and secondary being the ones we learn through social institutions (school, work, church, and etc.)
Gee’s thorough discussion of Discourse relates to this argument due to the fact that certain cultures around the world can have different primary and secondary Discourses because every environment is socially different. In order for an American student to do well at a South Korean school, they must be able to be a part of the society they are currently in and learn a new secondary Discourse. The same goes for the Korean student at an American school. With Gee’s argument in mind, this paper will attempt to give a thorough argument as to why it is not possible for an individual to discern which education system is the finest.
First and foremost, determining which nation between the United States of America and the Republic of South Korea has the leading education system is a subjective matter for the reason that defining what makes an excellent system is highly based on opinion rather than fact. First off, what defines ‘great’? How esteem does a person or a thing have to be in order to earn the title of being distinguished? Is it based solely on statistics or is based on what society deems to be eminent? Just as beauty is said to be “in the eye of the beholder”, so is greatness. Defining a great education system is technically indefinable because there are so many opposing views.
Referring back to the political cartoon depicting the overlapping views of the education system in Korea and America, it is clearly evident that students in Korea think differently of their education system, as do individuals in America. This once again proves the...