Korean Students Need Confidence and Interest in Learning

Minjun Son

Flle Photo : Yonhap News

Korean elementary school 4th graders and middle school 2nd graders had the highest international achievement in mathematics and science. However, it was surveyed that confidence in math and science skills and interest in subjects were lower than the world average in both elementary and middle classes.

The Ministry of Education announced on the 8th that the results of ‘International Comparative Study on Changes in Mathematics and Science Achievement Trends (TIMSS) 2019’ by the International Association for Assessment of Educational Achievement, including such contents, were announced on the 8th. This study is conducted every four years to internationally compare the mathematics and science achievements of elementary and secondary students.

About 330,000 elementary school students from 58 countries and 250,000 middle school students from 39 countries participated in this study. In Korea, 12,101 students from 345 schools participated in December 2018.

The mathematics achievement of Korean elementary 4 students was 600 points when the international average was 500 points, ranking third among 58 countries after Singapore (625 points) and Hong Kong (602 points). Science achievement was 588 points, the second highest after Singapore (595 points).

Chart Provided from Ministry of Education

However, the number of students with confidence in mathematics was 64%, lower than the international average (76%), and in science, only 76% answered that they were confident, which was below the international average (81%). Students who are interested in mathematics are 60% and those who are interested in science are 84%, which is also lower than the international average (math 80%, science 88%).

An official from the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation said, “There is a phenomenon in which confidence and interest are common in countries with high achievement in East Asia.”

“It is possible that a culture emphasizing modesty has worked, but research and policies are also needed to improve students’ attitudes,” he explained.

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