Korea National University of Education is a special-purpose university which educates students to prepare for their career as a teacher. The school solely caters to education majors, which makes it prudent for students to study various academic fields. Despite the fact that KNUE is fully oriented towards nurturing pre-service teachers, there are quite a few students who do not plan to become one. May this be an outcome of the increasing competition rate of the teacher certification examination? The following are some parts of the interviews done by three KNUE students who have the answers.
I believe that teachers decisively influence their students and their lives. As a teacher, you have to be responsible, but I am not. During the teaching practicum, I was not motivated, and I realized that teaching would not be my job. - French Education 14
It has been three years since I have started running a restaurant. Personally, I chose to become a restaurant owner because I saw seniors not getting paid enough compared to their effort after they have become a teacher. - Korean Education 10
I entered KNUE because I was interested in both education and subject content. I want to work in diverse academic fields and develop educational programs, but if I were to, I would be so busy that I would naturally not care about my students. - History Education 15
Now, the question is, does KNUE realize that there is a considerable number of students in this situation? The answer is affirmative. The school notices the problem and is willing to help these students. There are currently many programs and policies that aid students in finding their aptitude and, ultimately, a suitable job. For instance, in their programs, the Residential Education Center includes obtaining a license or certificate in any field. The school also gathers students who are looking for jobs that bear no relation to education. In turn, they group them into small study groups to encourage a reciprocal relationship between students in the same boat. Not only the school but the government also plans to help students develop their aptitude through the Advancement of College Education(ACE) project. Through the project, universities which are selected as ‘schools that teach well’ by the government get funded, and this consequently provides students with opportunities to get closer to their dream.
As mentioned above, KNUE is putting some effort into helping out the minority. However, in spite of such efforts, many difficulties still exist in the way of pursuing a dream that has nothing to do with becoming an educator. In fact, the interviewees wanted more programs and courses that could broaden their horizons. This includes adding new courses for general education and providing connections with outside agencies. Furthermore, even students who plan to get a teacher’s license assert that learning a vast variety of subjects, other than the field of education, is important.
KNUE is a university established to foster educators. The school’s atmosphere and curriculum which focuses on helping learners pass the teacher certification examination is, thus, very natural. KNUE is, however, told to listen to their students and make a change if necessary. Kim Deuk-Joon, a Research Professor at Korea National University of Education, emphasized that there must be an increase of extracurricular activities and international teaching practicums and internships.
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