May 3, 2011


A friend shared this documentary about corporal punishment in South Korea today and it is so shocking and disturbing I was moved to write about, and infact I am quite embarrassed to be working in an educational system where so many teachers beat their students AND think its okay. It is not okay. Under no circumstances, should a child be beaten, no matter how bad or undisciplined they may be. I have never seen any teacher do this to a student in my school, nor can I imagine any teachers here hitting the kids. I don't even know what I would do if I saw this, it is incomprehensible to me that this is so common in Korea and was lawful until very recently. (I remember when it changed last semester and I was told not to hit my students, I thought they were joking. Turns out we don't have the same sense of humor...)

This video shows footage of a teacher beating his students during class, cussing at him and saying awful things. As my hand covered my shocked, gapping mouth I could not believe what I was seeing. It also has many South Koreans opinions about corporal punishment as a necessary means to controlling students in order for them to learn, saying that kids were getting harder to manage because of the abolishment of the practice in schools. Even some students believe that this kind of punishment would help them get better grades and listen more.

It also shows a high school where the principal tries other methods of discipline besides hitting and make it seem like all the kids are misbehaving and sleeping in class, when I dare you to find a high school in Korea where the students are perfect and not sleeping in class (when you are studying for 18 hours a day, it is hardly surprising they are tired!) I commend this man and hope he continues to be the shining light leading the way.

Let's try teaching these students personal responsibility so when they sleep in class and don't get good grades, they are the one who is responsible for that, no one else. How is beating them until they bruise going to make them want to learn and enjoy it, it will only terrify them and kill their spirit. Positive reinforcement is a tried and effective way to discipline children, at school and at home. It works in other countries in the world where beating students is unheard of and highly illegal, why would it not work for this seemingly developed Asian country. While not all Koreans believe in these teaching methods, as shown in the video, this is still a very prevalent issue.

Check out the documentary here.

How could you do any harm to these precious faces!?

1 comment:

  1. they're so'll be really hard to punish them..=)


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