Sunday, February 14, 2010

Punitive vs. Educative

I'm a few days behind on the news but there was an interesting article from the 12th that I'd like to address. The Korea Times reported on the increased effort by the Lee Myung-Bak administration to encourage competition among teachers and schools to improve the quality of education. Recently, 17 teachers who had poor assessments are being transfered to different schools as a punitive measure for their poor evaluations of their teaching performance. Riddle me this: won't this just punish their new schools for being stuck with sub-par teachers? Wouldn't a more logical solution be to have forced additional training programs for teachers performing below acceptable levels? The article didn't specify if those teachers who were demoted had actually been teaching the subjects they had originally received training for. I know of many Korean  teachers who I've come into contact with who have training or educational backgrounds in completely different subjects than they were asked to teach due to well whatever reasons, shortages, convenience, and who knows what else. I agree that there should be actions taken for teachers who are not performing up to scratch but I don't see how making them change schools will have a positive benefit for anyone involved, other than the principal who had them moved so he/she doesn't have to deal with more phone calls from the parents.

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