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Smart and Happy Together? A Comparative Study of Korean Vesus U.S. Students' Achievement and Well-Being

Mon, April 20, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Virtual Room


This study examines whether and how Eastern vs. Western school system make student both smart and happy together. It applies multivariate multilevel model of school effects using the PISA 2015 datasets from Korea and the U.S., which vary in terms of life satisfaction, sense of belonging, and cooperation values as well as reading, math, and science achievement outcomes. From school climate effects perspectives, the study reveals educational inequalities and learning gaps in academic and socioemotional outcomes across the two nations. The results shed new light on the need for holistic education approaches with culturally appropriate mixes of both “high expectations/discipline” and “high caring/support” for diverse groups of students. The study discusses cross-national educational reform policy towards whole child/youth development goals.