Yoona wants to to become a high school teacher though she knows that there is a lot of competition to enter colleges of education.
Minho is interested in becoming a high school teacher after graduating from high school, but he wants to explore other career options as well as only the top candidates are allowed to apply to general teacher training courses at universities. Under the Open System, he can select mathematics as his major and then apply for general pedagogical courses once he gets into university.
Jiyoung is working for a trading company, but she wants to become a social studies teacher. She can apply to the graduate school of education because she has more than 36 credits from her Economics degree.
Yoona’s application to study science education at the College of Education is accepted. Her university accepted her on the basis of an interview, aptitude test, high school Grade Point Average and her score from the Korean College Scholastic Ability Test, though some of her friends were accepted into universities based on other selection criteria.
Minho is admitted into the Department of Mathematics based on his score in the Korean College Scholastic Ability test and high school Grade Point Average. During his second year, he will apply for general pedagogical courses. He has to study hard as only top candidates will be selected into teacher education.
Jiyoung submitted her Bachelor of Economics diploma and transcript – and is now preparing for an interview. As her previous experience is not directly related to teaching, she’s keen to show her strong motivation for teaching during the interview.
To obtain a “2nd-grade” teaching certificate, Yoona is expected to complete 50 credits in the subject knowledge of their major, including 7 mandatory areas (21 credits), 3 pedagogical content knowledge courses (8 credits); pedagogical theories (minimum 12 credits); knowledge for teaching profession (minimum 6 credits); 60 hours of education volunteering (2 credits); and 4 weeks of teaching practicum (2 credits). There are also two obligatory first aid and CPR training sessions. Like most of bachelor’s degree programmes in Korea, it will take about 4 years to complete her studies.
Minho’s application for general pedagogical courses was successful. In order to obtain a “2nd-grade” teaching certificate, he is required to complete the same amount of courses as students enrolled in the college of education: on subject knowledge, pedagogical theories, pedagogical content knowledge, knowledge for teaching profession, and teaching practicum. It is possible to obtain the degree within 4 years.
Jiyoung needs 5 semesters to complete her programme. She is also required to write a Master’s thesis, which entitles her to a “2nd-grade” teaching certificate. She can take a maximum of 9 credits (4-5 courses) per semester. Most of her courses are offered in the evening so that teachers can also advance their degrees.
Yoona’s university recently received grade “A (excellent)” and Minho’s received grade “C (inadequate)” from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), who evaluate teacher education institutions. Minho’s university will be re-evaluated and might have to reduce the number of new students.
Graduate schools is one of 6 categories established in 2015 to evaluate higher education institutions. It will be evaluated every 3 years.
Yoona earned all her unversity credits and was awarded a “2nd-grade” teaching certificate by the university on behalf of the local Office of Education. With her certificate, she is eligible to apply for a teaching position in a private school or as a contract teacher. After passing both rounds of the Teacher Employment Examination, administered by the local Office of Education, she was appointed by the Office of Education to a public middle school in the region she requested.
Although Minho obtained his “2nd grade” teaching certificate after completing his credits, like many others he didn’t perform well in the second round of the Teachers’ Employment Examination, which included interview and class demonstration. He will sit the exam again next year. In the meantime, he will work at a contract teacher.
Jiyoung earned all her credits and obtained a “2nd grade” teaching certificate in social studies, with a Master’s degree. She sat the Teachers’ Employment Examination in her municipality, but there are less than 10 posts open this year with more than 100 candidates. She didn’t pass the exam, but was selected by a private high school.
Just before Yoona starts teaching, she must attend a 5-day pre-employment training organised by her local Office of Education. Her Office of Education also provides an obligatory 5-day post-employment training focusing on innovative teaching methods after her frst year.
Although induction is not mandatory in Korea, Minho will probably receive around 60 hours of induction from his local office of education.
After her first year of teaching, Jiyoung decides to obtain a “1st-grade” certificate. According to the law, teachers with a “2nd-grade” certificate (i.e. Bachelor’s level) with more than three years of teaching experience are eligible for a 1st-grade teaching certificate.