Monday, January 10, 2005

We start with a bad example

Here is an example of education which is not serving good ends, on two fronts. If you're not a clicker, the article concerns a Korean practice of sending the mother and children to the US for years so that the children can get an American education, while the father remains in Korea working to pay for it.

The original problem is with the Korean education system, which is so oriented to achievement on a narrow range of topics that children have no time to develop in other areas, sleep, or do anything but cram from kindergarten to university. Keep that in mind next time you hear about US math scores being low. Our schools could certainly do better, but there is more to life than high test scores, and in trying to fix our problems we had better remember that.

I don't think the parents of these families have found an acceptable alternative, however. In an effort to get their children English and an education that leaves room for development of the whole human being, they have taken away the most key ingredient to a whole human being: a whole family. This is probably rarer in America, but it certainly happens, especially where the children have special athletic or performance abilities. I don't believe any educational end justifies tearing apart a family. You don't make whole people by breaking families.

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