Electronic Proceedings of the 12th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics
Abstract for 15000
The Effect of "Cyber Home School" on Korean Students' Mathematics Achievement
Authors: Young-Wha Choi , Hee-Chan Lew, & Min-Shik Cho
Korea National University of Education
It has been noted in several international comparison studies on math achievement that Korean students demonstrate a high level of achievement. When the data is disaggregated, it shows that urban students are achieving at much higher rates than rural students. This significant difference between urban and rural students may result from an assortment of complex social factors associated with rural areas such as parents' relative indifference toward education, less competitive educational atmosphere, unfavorable working condition for teachers, poor educational surroundings, and insufficient instructional materials.
An understanding in Korea’s education requires a thorough acknowledgement of the stance of out-of-school education within the overall educational framework of Korea. According to Kim, Yang, Kim & Lee(2001), 84.1% of Korean parents provide some form of shadow education for their children (primary 91.1%, middle school 81.5, high school 70.2%) and it has been reported that such phenomenon is only getting more severe and public education fees including college tuition in 2000 equaled 33.5 billion US$, whereas out-of-school tutoring fees were calculated at 37 billion US$. In effect parents in Korea are using approximately 10% of their income on their children’s out-of-school tutoring fees.
Following the several reports and studies showing the significant differences in math achievement among rural and urban students and the social problem out-of-school tutoring fees have happened to parents, the Korean government proposed the plan to lessen the disparity of educational opportunities between rural and urban students and to reduce out-of-school tutoring fees of parents. One such government-sponsored program is “E-learning” or commonly known as ‘cyber home school’. The program targets low-income families throughout the country and provide them with a free computer, internet access, and cyber tutor.
For this study analyzes 'cyber home school' impact on mathematics achievement and mathematical disposition of Korean 8th grade students. The content focus for the study is Algebra, which is taken by all Korean students during the second year in middle school (8th grade). Generally, the course is tailored to students' different learning abilities. In particular, middle- and low-level achieving students have opportunities to review elementary algebra as needed, whereas high-level achieving students have experiences to deepen their knowledge and to think at higher mathematical levels. Students may change their levels of studying, but most students remain in designated achievement levels.
The study of ‘cyber home school’ was conducted for two months with 20 middle school students from one middle school at one small city in Korea. Students were divided into three achievement groups (high, middle, and low level) by the results of a pre-test. Teachers confirm the process of student ability; manage on-line meetings and e-board discussions to promote two-way communications with students. Some of the students had difficulty using their computer at home, so they were given opportunities to use a computer at school before and after the class or lunchtime.
The post-test of mathematics achievement illustrated the degree of change resulting from the study. This study did a comparison analysis between 20 students who were exposed to the on-line learning environment and another 20 students of the same school who enrolled out-of-school programs and had a similar achievement level averagely to the level of experimental group in the pre-test of mathematics achievement.
This study suggests a powerful way for rural students or low-income brackets students who have insufficient educational opportunities to learn mathematics tailored to their levels, and provide an empirical foundation on how to promote substance of public education at small outlay.
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