Monday, July 4, 2016

South Korea's Reforms for a Creative and 21st Century Economy & A Call for Collaboration on Cross-National Education Research

On June 28th, I presented on my report on Preparing Students for South Korea's Creative Economy: The Successes and Challenges of Educational Reform to a live audience at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. We were also joined by people who live streamed from the US, Argentina, Canada, and Korea. 

It was great to be able to share about South Korea's educational reforms & explain how my research relates to broader discussion in comparative education research.

The Necessity to Combine Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Writing the report showed me yet again the power of qualitative research to capture the day-to-day teaching and learning in classrooms and to illustrate how students and teachers are affected by a complex combination of school dynamics and factors from the larger society.  Interviews, case studies, and photographs can capture "small data" that helps us to visualize the stories of educational reform and thus enhance the value of existing cross-national studies. Integrating qualitative and quantitative research methodologies will make research more usable and engaging for teachers, policy makers, and tech-companies (which are increasingly entering the tech-education market). Also, information gathered and shared by qualitative researchers can help quantitative researchers to better understand what kind of information is high in demand for practitioners.

Launching Pad for More Cross-National Research 

I will continue to find creative ways to produce information that can help key stakeholders and shape discussions on what is quality and equitable education in the 21st century. With so many countries thinking about similar educational outcomes (e.g. the improvement of children's socio-emotional well-being, increase in opportunities for students to explore their passions and interests, and the development of non-cognitive skills and competencies such as creativity, problem solving skills, and communication skills), there has never been a more exciting time for meaningful cross-national knowledge sharing and exchange.

I hope that my Korea report and presentation will be a springboard for more cross-national research projects that reaches a larger audience. Currently, I am in the process of developing ideas for a platform that serves as a hub for cross-national education research, which will focus on quality and equitable learning in the 21st century and will provide helpful, engaging, and forward-thinking research and information for education practitioners. If you're a researcher, teacher, or anyone else interested in sponsoring or collaborating on future cross-national projects, please fill out this form.

Thankful for the Springboard

I am grateful for the widespread interest in the report from various other countries including Denmark, Thailand, and Japan and for Sir Ken Robinson for retweeting the report. Also, in July 2016, the report became the most viewed report on the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada's website. 

27-minute presentation (subtitles available in Korean and English) (50-min. Q&A unavailable)
Presentation Slides:

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