Korean students achieved high scores in the international comparison studies (Third International Mathematics and Science Study; TIMSS, Programme for International Student Assessment; PISA). Many foreign science educators are interested in the reasons of high achievement of Korean students. We examined the reasons as in-school factors and out-of-school factors through the analysis of the international comparison studies, educational system of Korea and in-depth interview with science teachers. In-school factors are composed of centralized educational system, school hours &content, concept-centered teaching and assessment with a multiple-choice exam. Out-of-school factors are composed of social atmosphere to eager to pursue higher education, desire to step up one's social hierarchy through academic clique, and widespread private tutoring after school hours. It was found that these factors significantly influence on Korean students' high achievement. However, such high achievements may not imply Korean students' real understandings of scientific knowledge and scientific literacy.

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What made korean stuents score high in the international comparison studies?

ong-oh Hyun   Korea Science Teachers Association

Bong-woo Lee   Dankook University,

Jun-euy Hong   Hansung Science High School

Hae-ae Seo   Hansung Science High School

Korean students achieved high scores in the international comparison studies (Third International Mathematics and Science Study; TIMSS, Programme for International Student Assessment; PISA). Many foreign science educators are interested in the reasons of high achievement of Korean students. We examined the reasons as in-school factors and out-of-school factors through the analysis of the international comparison studies, educational system of Korea and in-depth interview with science teachers. In-school factors are composed of centralized educational system, school hours &content, concept-centered teaching and assessment with a multiple-choice exam. Out-of-school factors are composed of social atmosphere to eager to pursue higher education, desire to step up one's social hierarchy through academic clique, and widespread private tutoring after school hours. It was found that these factors significantly influence on Korean students' high achievement. However, such high achievements may not imply Korean students' real understandings of scientific knowledge and scientific literacy.

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