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Wednesday, July 12 • 14:00 - 14:30
3155 Systematic Thinking in Science Education

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In the past, whether within kingdom, empire, colony, or republic, young Koreans had to remain focused on passing tests, even in the midst of the war or the collapse of schools and the emergence of private education in the Joseon Dynasty period (1392-1910). Because private tutoring has been a major factor in Korean education for 650 years now, it can be seen as a major influence on the weak development of an integrated education experience in Korea. However, integrated education strengthening basic science education, linking liberal arts and natural sciences, and developing skills in problem solving rather than rote memorization will be necessary for successful participation in the impending Fourth Industrial Revolution.

South Korea's science education is caught in a web of paradoxes. Basic science education is weak, but memorization education for the university entrance examination is the best in the world. Students display a low level of creative thinking compared to advanced countries, but their academic achievement is very high. Koreans have been content to remain in the mindset of their proverb, “‘It is the fastest thing to be late.” Yet college students do not seem content to wait, given their tendency to break away from their majors. Although educational policies and curricula are constantly in flux, why have these patterns emerged, and how can they be changed?

This study examines the relevance and goals of science education through the perspective of recent work in brain science. Specifically, we will examine the relationship between creativity and the biology of the brain, in particular the division between the left and right brains. Brain research focused on cognitive function differentiation has strongly indicated that cooperation between the left and right brains is essential for increasing the ability for creative thinking. Yet the focus on memorization in Korean education can result in relatively weak left brain development, which can shortchange left brain functions including abilities to learn and apply mathematics, language expression, logical reasoning, and rational thinking and criticism.

In summary, although both the left and right brains share roles in creative thinking, Korea's entrance examination does not fully utilize the brain’s differentiated cognitive functions. We need a balanced basic science education with the long-term goal of effective left and right brain development, not the short-term goal of admission to a good college.

Wednesday July 12, 2017 14:00 - 14:30
3rd Floor, Room SR 121, Institut für Computertechnik,TU Wien Gußhausstraße 27-29, 1040 Wien, Austria

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