Universities provide character education through “communication”
Universities provide character education through “communication”
  • Ahn In-kyeong
  • 승인 2013.04.12 15:18
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Illustration by Jeong Hyun-joo.

To cultivate students with a sense of community identity, many universities have been putting emphasis on students’ character education in different ways. These include reforming Liberal Arts courses and establishing related programs and organizations.
Ewha has employed two major reformations; revision of the core courses curriculum and adoption of a Residential College (RC).
Starting this semester, the Center for General Education has revised Ewha’s core courses curriculum, following the guidelines set forth in the vision “Cultivation of Creative Talents to Lead a Globalized World with Sharing and Communication.”
The revised core system includes “Sharing Leadership,” a required course that emphasizes character education by providing practical education in civil and communal woman leadership. The revised system applies to students who have entered Ewha in 2013.
To provide students with more chances to combine their studies with an array of social events, Ewha adopted the RC system.The RC system is a program first adopted by universities in Western countries, including Harvard University and University of Oxford, which places students and faculty in a community setting along with academic activities.
By having students spend time together through RC, Ewha aims to enrich the campus and avoid elitism.
“Ewha expects that the RC will increase a sense of belonging and community spirit that lead to character education,” said Lee Jeong-hee, the section chief of the Office of University Planning and Coordination. “By spending time in this community, students will naturally learn to understand others and look out for them.”
The program is going to be test-driven this fall semester and will officially start in 2015.
Yonsei University is also putting a greater emphasis on the character education of students. The school began its RC system this semester at its Songdo Campus, and first-year students of Yonsei University are now obliged to spend one semester in the RC in Songdo.
The purpose of Yonsei University’s RC is similar to that of Ewha’s as it aims to have an integrated system of education, combining academic atmosphere with domicile ambiance in the dormitory. The school intends to foster students with the capacity to become global leaders.
Yonsei University is running its RC with the goal of “5C,” which means to improve communication skills, creativity, convergence ability, cultural diversity and Christian leadership in its students.
Dongguk University is also planning on taking the lead to intensify fundamental education that prepares students to have systematic writing abilities and liberal arts knowledge, which will in turn encourage students to improve communication skills.
“Writing is a fundamental and complex activity,” said Baek Seung-kyu, an official of Dongguk University’s General Education Center. “Students will undergo intensive writing training, which will improve their communication skills.”
Dongguk University is also planning to add a volunteer course that combines extracurricular and school activities the following semester as a part of its character education.
“Volunteering activities cannot be done without fine character as a person,” Baek said. “That is why we believe students will build fine moral character in themselves by participating in volunteer activities.”
Konkuk University has built the Global Institute for Smart Communication and Consilience (GISCC), a building specialized for the education of liberal art courses.
“An independent organization for education in Liberal Arts is needed in order to continuously strengthen the Liberal Arts education of the undergraduate students,” said professor Hong U-pyong (Konkuk University), who was assigned as the first director of GISCC.
“We indicated our direction of education in the name GISCC by using the words ‘communication’ and ‘consilience,’” professor Hong said. “Nowadays, many students go beyond the borders of majors. Thus from now on, along with a specialized major, talented individuals should be able to understand themselves, others and the community.”

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