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Human Capital and Development

Lessons and Insights from Korea's Transformation

Ju-Ho Lee, Hyeok Jeong and Song Chang Hong

During recent decades, Korea has been one of only a handful of countries that have made the successful transformation to become a developed nation by simultaneously achieving persistent economic growth combined with a democratic political system. Experts and political leaders worldwide have attributed this achievement to investments in people or, in other words, the power of education. Whilst numerous books have highlighted the role of industrial policies, technological growth, and international trade in Korea’s development process, this is one of the first to focus on the role of human capital. It shows how the accumulation of human capital aided transformation and helps explain the policies, strategies and challenges that Korea faces now and in the future.
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Chapter 6: Fostering project-based learning and performance assessment

Ju-Ho Lee, Hyeok Jeong and Song Chang Hong

Extract

In March 2016, it was a shock to Koreans when Google DeepMind’s artificial intelligence AlphaGo scored four wins and only one loss against Korean Go Master Lee Sedol, who is considered one of the best Go players in the world. For most Koreans, the predictions made by the Fourth Industrial Revolution Report (Schwab, 2016) presented at the Davos Forum in January 2016 seemed unreal at the time. It predicted that as digital technologies are exponentially integrated into areas of physics and biology, the way of living could change fundamentally through the emergence of new technologies such as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IOT), and 3D printing. However, through the game of Go between a man and a machine, Koreans could see vividly that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was just around the corner. Furthermore, several forecasts on the labor market changes from the Fourth Industrial Revolution1 predicted that half of the current jobs could be gone by the time elementary school children become job seekers. Such warning was enough to spark a sense of crisis to parents and students in Korea that they are being educated for jobs that would eventually disappear. As a result, discussions on the necessary skills and the ways of teaching and learning these skills in anticipation of rapid technological changes were transformed into a more tangible and concrete question about how best to change the learning system in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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