My obsession with the South Korean education system began when I read this passage from Amanda Ripley’s excellent book ‘The Smartest Kids in the World’:
“…a teenager named Ji stabbed his mother in the neck in their house in Seoul. He did it to stop her from going to a parent-teacher conference. He was terrified that she’d find out that he’d lied about his latest test scores.
This ghastly story captivated the country, as might be expected, but for specific and revealing reasons. Ji’s crime was not, in the minds of many Koreans, an isolated tragedy; it was a reflection of a study-crazed culture that was driving children mad.”
I was fascinated by this tragic story and wanted to learn more about an education system that was so intense and high stakes that it could push a child to do something so awful. It made…
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