How do you think of Koreans

Reading world champion South Korea - a role model?

Korean reading skills

If the theory were correct that intensive use of modern technologies would have a negative impact on reading literacy, Korea would certainly not be reading country No. 1. No country in Europe has such widespread use of high-tech devices. In addition to Hyundai, Samsung is ubiquitous and has a corresponding influence on the educational landscape. But what are the reasons for the outstanding success with the PISA measurements in the reading area?

If one takes a closer look at the detailed analyzes in PISA, two features of the Korean education system stand out:

1. The almost complete absence of immigrant students
2. The high level of commitment of the family in the acquisition of education for children and young people.

If one takes note of the first point as a political fact, it should be noted with regard to the second point that all studies on reading competence clearly confirm the connection between reading competence and family involvement. In the “Reading partners” project, carried out in cooperation between the Book Club of Young People and the BMUKK, numerous studies on this topic are cited

The combination of the family's high educational standards, extensive time resources and a great willingness to practice results in positive results when acquiring “technical” skills such as reading. It remains to be seen whether criteria such as “reading pleasure” and “browsing” play a role in view of the limited leisure time opportunities.


A summary of the Korean educational processes suggests that the (European) fading out of this area is no coincidence. The positions are too divergent, the cultural and educational-political ambitions too different. The often criticized "cuddle pedagogy" is likely to be at least a lesser evil for many parents and teachers in view of the enormous pressure to perform that weighs on Korean children. Nevertheless, it would be worth considering taking a closer look at those elements that are undoubtedly responsible for the high level of competence in cognitive areas. These are v. a. the great commitment of the family in promoting the children and the great respect for knowledge. Sayings like “Knowledge is power. I do not know anything. Never mind ”one looks in vain on the toilet doors of Korean schools.

to PART 1

¹ J. K. Lee: Gyoyukyeol Olbaro Bogi (Upright Reflections on Parenting Fever). Seoul 2003. Based on: Seung-Nam Son (with the assistance of Meinert A. Meyer): Korean school culture - presented from an international comparative perspective. - In: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, issue 1/2005, p. 64
² Journal for Educational Science, p.69