He could hear the kids’ laughter from the hallway.
Al Persenaire was visiting a school in Seoul, South Korea, whose teachers had recently attended Educational Care trainings. The laughter he heard was a welcome surprise after his last visit to Seoul about two years prior.
As he entered the science classroom, Al witnessed a buzz of activity. The hands of the fourth-grade students were hard and work and they glowed with pride as they shared their experiment with Al and other visitors.
“Two years ago when we visited some of these schools, we saw the teachers almost exclusively using rote memorization, lectures, tests, and more memorization. Schools were rigid and formal. Students did not dare to speak when we visited the classrooms.”
Returning to Seoul two years later, these tight schedules and fierce levels of competition among schools and other countries haven’t gone away. But seeing the chattering kids in this science classroom was a transformation.
“Teachers have implemented what they have learned about how our Creator God gives us and students the gift of discovery and creativity,” reflects Persenaire. “It was impressive to see the changes in the classrooms of the Seoul Christian Schools that we visited.”
The teachers and school officials have been working hard to address some of the very issues that Al noted above, and CRWM’s Educational Care ministry has been a part of that process.
“Our extreme competitive culture is hard to change but it can start in our classes,” said one of the teachers.
“I have learned it is important for students to take an active role in the learning process and be involved,” added another.
Along with taking part in Educational Care, the schools have spent the last few years inviting Christian school leaders from European countries and sending representatives to visit longer-established Christian schools including some in Canada and the United States.
Another impressive change that Al noted, one school had each student spend their first-hour reading and reflecting on Scripture for the first hour of the day. A first-grade teacher shared some of what her students had written with Al.
“Their insights were amazing!” says Al. “The teacher glowed with pride and joy in her students as she shared that by applying Scripture each day the students are starting to make wiser choices and excelling in their school work.”
Praise God for the positive change that has taken place in South Korea. Pray that Christian school teachers will continue to seek to from one another as they witness to God’s children.