Studying Korean proves our scholars can learn anything if they choose to work hard at it, and it makes them unique. Our scholars are among the only African-American and Latino students in the nation learning Korean.
Seth Andrew founded Democracy Prep in 2005 to ensure that every single student will work hard, go to college, and change the world. Much of the school design and philosophy is based on his experience teaching English in South Korea.
Mr. Andrew came to believe that American schools would benefit from adopting three key Korean educational values that helped South Korea transform from one of the poorest nations in Asia to a world leader in technology, finance, and democracy in just 60 years:
Key Korean educational values:
Teachers are golden
To be a teacher in South Korea is to be one of the most respected members of society. Students and parents address teachers with the honorific title of “seon-saeng-nim,” while in the United States, teachers are simply Mr. or Ms.
Hard work leads to success
Coming out of the Korean War, South Korea was devastated. It suffered from a destroyed infrastructure, extreme poverty, and few natural resources. The country overcame these challenges and become one of the richest nations in the world by embracing an intense work ethic in school and beyond.
Education is the highest value
Education is the most important cultural value in South Korea, more than even fame or fortune. In fact, even low-income South Koreans choose to invest any discretionary income they might have in books, college savings, and after-school academic programs or “hagwons.”