High school credit system that saves career? “The easy subjects I took… I don’t know what to do, follow my friend”
[1년 남은 교교학점제 ‘시기상조론’]
Interviews with students and teachers at 5 pilot schools… “The purpose is good, but the admission is separate”
Another problem is that most students are not sure about their career path due to weak career education in elementary and middle school.
Incheon Myungshin Girls’ High School students taking the ‘Intellectual Property General-Common Science Convergence Class’ in the second semester of 2020. This is a class in which students come up with their own ideas and submit intellectual property patent rights while inviting a patent attorney. When the high school credit system is introduced, it is expected that the number of ‘convergence courses’ taught by external experts and teachers will increase. Provided by the Ministry of Photography
The high school credit system, which is scheduled to be fully introduced in 2025, will be partially introduced from 2023 to 2024, when the second and first year of middle school become the first year of high school this year. Although the introduction period has been moved forward by two years, with about a year left for the partial introduction, ‘theory of premature start’ is prevalent in the education world. The National Teachers’ Union of Teachers and the Korea Federation of Teachers’ Associations, the teachers’ organizations representing progressive and conservative tendencies, are simultaneously opposing the introduction of an unprepared high school credit system. This is because the contradiction that expanded the deadlines while promoting the high school credit system optimized for the comprehensive admission of student records was not resolved. Under this circumstance, when the Ministry of Education announced the main points of the ‘2022 revised curriculum’ reflecting the high school credit system on the 24th, the opposition seems to be getting stronger. As a result of coverage of five research and leading schools that are piloting the high school credit system, students were preoccupied with preparing for the CSAT and picking up their scores rather than exploring career paths, and teachers were struggling with the burden of teaching refreshments. In-depth reports on warnings from the field that if introduced as it is, the good intentions of the high school credit system will fade and lead to system failure.
“If you choose an unpopular subject, the number of first grades will decrease, so it is very difficult to get grades. So, when doing the first demand survey, there are a lot of friends who choose the subjects they want, and if the number of people is small, they eventually switch to subjects that many people apply for in the second round.” Because of that, I think the school should help me find a job that suits my aptitude. Even now, I often see cases where people around me say ‘I chose a subject according to my friend’ or ‘I didn’t know what to do, so I did something’. I think it will be easier if the career education is sufficiently advanced in the first year.” (Chia Min-woo, a sophomore at Gosaek High School in Suwon) Introduction of the high school credit system in which high school students select elective courses and receive credits from the courses that have reached the completion standards to graduate this was foretold Students from five research and leading schools that were recently interviewed face-to-face or by phone were experiencing the ‘future measles’ ahead of the high school credit system, which will be partially started in 2023 and fully introduced in 2025. There is nothing wrong with the purpose of the high school credit system, which is an elective curriculum in which students learn desired subjects based on their career path and aptitude. Students who have actually experienced it also cited the wider choice as a big advantage. A, a sophomore at Hwabon High School in Ulsan, said, “I dream of becoming a nurse, but it’s nice to be able to take the ‘Public Health’ subject in advance.”
However, the university entrance examination system, which cannot be operated independently of the curriculum, is insufficiently prepared to shake the purpose of the introduction of the high school credit system itself. As the 3rd year Guri-si galmae high school student Jang Amu-yang said, “My friends who are preparing for a school class can take classes according to their career path and they like it when they write their own introductions.” However, as the government expanded the proportion of regular exams to more than 40%, the proportion of classes that use students’ elective subjects as major evaluation indicators in the entrance exam process is decreasing. Moreover, although the high school credit system has been moved forward with the partial introduction in 2023, the achievement evaluation system (absolute evaluation) for all elective subjects will still be implemented in earnest in 2025. In a situation in which they enter a university due to a competition for ranking based on relative evaluation, it is natural for students to choose subjects that are easier to receive their first grade than to focus on their career path. Jang Yang explained, “I took a course with a small number of students because I thought it would be necessary for my career, but the academic competition was very fierce. .
Incheon Myungshin Girls’ High School students are holding a mock court as part of the ‘Intellectual Property General-Common Science Convergence Class’. Provided by the Ministry of Photography
The reality in Korea, where most students are not sure about their future career paths, exacerbates this phenomenon. According to the purpose of the high school credit system, elective subjects must be selected according to the future design from the second semester of the first year of high school. However, the current career education in elementary and middle schools is not enough, and students wander in the face of sudden choices. Kang Sung-hoon said, “I decided to dream up only when I was in third grade. As a result, (in the first or second year) I decided to take a class with a lot of people and choose the subject with the intention of raising my grades first.” Seo Yoonyang Choi, a freshman at Bulam High School in Seoul, said, “I want to go to the media department when I think about my career path, but my grades are good in science, so I’m going to take an elective course in science. I am getting help from my Jinro teacher, but I am not sure because of the lack of information.” In the end, a large number of students flock to subjects that are likely to be helpful in the university scholastic ability test (SAT) or the relative evaluation for student record subject selection, and there are many cases in which subjects that do not are canceled due to the small number of students taking them. This means that the original purpose of the system to respect the diversity and autonomy of students is overshadowed. Kang Seong-hoon said, “Due to the nature of the high school credit system, students who actually take the subjects they want will of course listen intently, but the problem is that there aren’t that many students who actually want to,” he said. Many students changed their entrance exam strategy to on-time, contrary to the goals of the high school credit system, as they often did not complete their desired subjects in advance due to a belated career change. For example, just as you have to take Physics I at the end of the first year and enter it in your second year in order to take Physics II in your third year, it is difficult to reverse your choice when you are in the upper grades for subjects that require you to complete prerequisite courses. Hyeon-Seo Kang, a sophomore at Bulam High School, said, “In science department, there were a lot of friends who regret choosing a subject. Yang Yang, a third year at Galmae High School, said, “In my freshman year, my dream was to be a math teacher, so I didn’t have to study physics, but in my second year, I changed my career to architecture. However, it was very difficult because I didn’t take Physics I, so I couldn’t choose Physics II even in my 3rd year.” He said, “I am preparing for the due date because I think that not taking Physics will be a negative factor if you want to major in Architecture as your academic discipline.”
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As a result, high school freshmen sometimes feel thirsty for career information lacking in the pressure of not failing in their subject selection. This means that career choice acts as a ‘burden’ rather than ‘freedom’ for students. Kim Kyung-tae, a freshman at Bulam High School, said, “I am studying with interest in social welfare. But my family and friends talk about my shortcomings a lot, such as, ‘Can I get a job that makes a lot of money with that choice?’ According to the main points of the ‘2022 Revision Curriculum’ announced on the 24th, a ‘Career Linked Semester’ will be introduced in the second semester of the third year of middle school. can have Since the ‘career-related semester’ at the middle school level will be implemented for the first time in 2027, it does not apply to students graduating from middle school before that. As side effects arose from the transitional situation, even teacher organizations that supported the introduction of the high school credit system are raising concerns. Kim Young-sik, co-representative of the Good Teachers Movement, pointed out, “It is true that the high school credit system is needed for changes in school education, but since the fundamental evaluation system has not changed, the elective subjects are eventually returning to focusing on SAT scores and test scores.” . Gyeonggi-do Education Policy Advisor, Gyeonggi-do Jeon Gyeong-won also said, “In the period of partial introduction between 2023 and 2024, students will inevitably have a bias in choosing subjects with a large number of people or with low difficulty (according to the entrance exam). It only makes the preparations more confusing.” A high school teacher in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul said, “It’s only one time for students, but it’s a high school credit system experiment.” By Kim Ji-eun, staff reporter [email protected]
The high school credit system is a system promoted with the aim of normalizing high school education that has been turned into a school for entrance exams and ensuring diverse growth paths by discovering the uniqueness of each student. ‘Unit’, which is the standard for high school tuition, is converted to ‘credits’, and the total number of credits completed for three years of high school will be adjusted from 204 units (2890 hours) to 192 credits (2720 hours in 2023-2024, 2560 hours in 2025). From 2025, when it is fully introduced, the ‘Achievement Evaluation System for All Elective Subjects’ and ‘All Subjects Not Completed System’ will also be applied. The achievement evaluation system is a system that evaluates students according to their level of achievement in subject learning instead of relative evaluation in order of grades. The non-completion system is a system that strengthens the accountability of school education. If the academic achievement rate does not reach 40% and the attendance rate is less than two-thirds, a separate task or supplementary course is required. The ultimate intention of such a system is to help middle and low-ranking students grow up with meaningful learning opportunities by listening to subjects that fit their aptitudes, not the subjects set by the school. In fact, as a result of interviewing students from five high school credit system research and leading schools recently, some phenomena were also found that met the purpose of the Ministry of Education. Guaranteeing choice also leads to increased motivation to learn and improved grades. A high school teacher in Jeollabuk-do was effective by opening a course that students from the middle and lower classes could lay their foundations on amid concerns about the deterioration of the school’s image. Teacher Lee said, “We opened ‘Basic English’ and ‘Basic Mathematics’, which are halfway between middle school and high school, and about 70 out of 270 students applied. The students in grades 4 and 6 skyrocketed,” he said. Teacher Lee added, “The merit of the high school credit system is that it can reinforce responsible education rather than just sleeping and feeling frustrated throughout high school life.” These changes are felt by the students as well. Shin-eui Kim, a sophomore at Bulam High School in Seoul, said, “Even my friends in the middle and lower classes try hard to listen to their favorite subjects and prepare.” Min-woo Cha, a sophomore at Gosaek High School in Suwon, said, “I have personally seen my friend, who was in the middle and lower classes, climbed up to the second grade while having fun studying in the elective subjects and affecting other learning.” It is also evaluated that students can develop their ‘muscles of thinking’ because they not only take the subjects set by the school, but also start thinking about their career path on their own from an early age. Seo Yoon-yang Choi, a first-year student at Bulam High School, who is considering her first choice, said, “I searched for and studied a lot of career information. I realized that it didn’t fit, and it was an opportunity to change my mind to the Department of Media.” Experts explained that the high school credit system has a great advantage in empowering each ability, whereas in the existing education system, low-middle-ranking students existed to lay the scores of high-ranking students. This is why those who favor or critically support the high school credit system emphasize that it is a project that needs to be successful even in the long term. Song Kyung-won, a member of the Justice Party’s policy committee, said, “The school’s preferred strategy for entrance exams is to have 400 students take the same subject and make 16 students first grade. High-ranking students are good, but middle- and low-ranking students are sitting still without being able to follow the course content. By Kim Ji-eun, staff reporter [email protected]