Segments in this Video

Pressure to Succeed (02:13)


Top ranked math teacher Cha Young records a song with South Korean pop musicians encouraging university students to ace their exams. Academic competition pushes young people to exhaustion.

Private Education Industry (03:57)

Cha Young made a fortune running a South Korean online cram school, or hagwon. He incorporates entertainment into recorded lectures to keep students engaged, promotes like a movie blockbuster, and plans to target a global market.

Investing in the Future (03:38)

South Korean students study 15 hours per day on average. Top ranked student Kim So-jung prepares for the national exam, aiming for a good university, job, and marriage. Her friends discuss competition and family pressure to succeed.

Hagwons (02:17)

Many South Korean students attend cram school after the school day. So-jung studies for the CSAT until 11pm; one wrong answer would compromise her future. Her mother feels education has become too corporate.

Sacrifices for Education (03:51)

Wo Che-u studies to retake the CSAT for a top university placement; one in fifty applicants is accepted at his cram school and students are drilled for 12 hours per day. Wo Che-u misses hobbies and feels no sense of individuality.

Family Expectations (02:26)

Hard work transformed South Korea from a destitute nation to an industrialized economy. Pressure to succeed resulted in high teen suicide rates; the society lacks counseling support. A 19-year-old explains why he ran away from home.

Pressure to be Beautiful (02:39)

Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the world. Many parents give their children new features to gain an edge in the job market. Hospitality student Che is getting her eyes widened to gain confidence and improve her prospects.

Alternative School (02:13)

An experimental institute pushes back against South Korean academic pressure by emphasizing creative thinking and communication. Students are supported in small, discussion based classes and encouraged to pursue subjects they’re interested in.

Business Priorities (01:32)

Cha explains that education transformed South Korea's economy after the Korean War, and remains the country's major resource. He works 18 hours a day, like many professionals.

Credits: Korea: Education Gangnam Style (00:22)

Credits: Korea: Education Gangnam Style

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Korea: Education Gangnam Style

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.92
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Education has powered South Korea's stunning economic success. A country once shackled by mass illiteracy now tops academic league tables. But as Foreign Correspondent's North Asia reporter Matthew Carney investigates, its stressed out students also rank as the unhappiest in the developed world.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL94234

ISBN: 978-1-68272-089-9

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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