Survey Results – Part 3A: Who Gets More of the Good Stuff – Public Schools or Hakwons?

Who Gets More of the Good Stuff – Public Schools or Hakwons?

This post is the third post in a series. Go to the first post for downloadables: Survey Results – Part 1: Dating. The previous post was: Survey Results – Part 2: Lifestyle and Pets. I split this post into two as it was getting too long but 3B relies on reading 3A to be fully understood.

Nabunu needs people who can help out (think blogging, etc), check out what we need here:

Ok, so I got a lot for you today, no more fluffy puppy dogs or dating stats. Today we’re going to get into some of the meatier topics in the ESL community. This post is all about the teaching background of NESTs as well as how they feel about their teaching resources. The last two posts tended to take note of gender differences in looking at results. This time around I’ll be more interested in differences based on work type (hakwon vs. government school).

Months on the Job & Future Plans

One of the most unexpected results I got from the survey was the average number of months taught. The average respondent had 39 (median was 26) months experience (and I stumbled across a big gender gap here with men reporting 49 months and women reporting 27 on average). For hakwon teachers the average was 29.1 months, for public school teachers the average was 30.4 months. Given the median birth year of 1984 that would make most participants 28.

This indicates a big skew where a handful of teachers have extensive teaching in Korea experience which quickly drops off. It might also mean that the average teacher in Korea is starting at a later age than perhaps years ago or than the stereotype would have us believe. Either way, I was expecting the average and median to be lower. One possible explanation is that first year teachers aren’t invested enough in the NEST community in Korea to take the time to fill out surveys. Always a thought.

A comparison of how long hakwon techers and public school teachers have been in the Korean ESL industry

Sigh, how do I explain this graphic? It simply shows, as a percentage, how long teachers have spent teaching in Korea. I’ve broken it down by workplace type. The percentages are also for each workplace type so bear that in mind. Also make sure you look at it as a snapshot of where people work now. So whilst they may be working in a Korean public school now, they may have worked before in hakwons in Korea.

With all those qualifiers in mind, the above graphic suggests that whilst some teacher probably stick to either hakwons or public schools, there are some who switch back and forth (see the spikes in 4-5, 6-7, 8-9). I also found the overlaps in years 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 quite interesting as well. So the way I read it is that a lot hakwon teachers and public school teachers switch workplace types every two years but for both workplace types there’s a lot of attrition as well as teachers leave Korea. Let me know in the comments below what you make of this graphic.

How many contracts?

A NEST with his adorable kindergarten classAbout a quarter of all respondents (remember, this includes university, business, private schools, etc) were on their first contract (33.3% for public schools, 28.4% for hakwons), 22% are on their second and 33% are on their fourth or more contract. What’s clear is that there are a lot of NESTs who are in this for the long haul.

Just over half of the respondents plan on staying on in Korea and most of those will be signing with the same employers. However, there’s a significant difference between what hakwon teachers plan to do next versus what public school teachers plan to do next. 40.4% of public school teachers intend to sign another contract with their school whereas only 17.9% of hakwon teachers plan to do the same. In fact, only 40% of hakwon teachers intend to do things that will see them staying in Korea whereas that number is a little over 50% for public school teachers.

So whilst public school teachers are more likely to want to stick around than hakwon teachers there are still between 50-60% who don’t see themselves still being in country after their contract expires. I’d like to compare those numbers to other countries like China, Japan, Vietnam, UAE, Saudi Arabia but my guess is that the numbers staying in country would be much higher if a few things were changed with how NESTs are handled in schools.


A comparison of how many public school teachers vs hakwon teachers have a written outline for what to give their classes

In this area there’s a big divide as well. When asked in question 15: “At your current workplace have you been provided with a written outline of what you’re suppose to be teaching? (for example: a syllabus, curriculum, etc)” 54% of public school teachers answered “No” whereas the same number was only 35.4% for hakwon teachers. Also, hakwon teachers were almost 3 times more likely to have had a written outline for all their classes than public school teachers (41.5% vs. 15.8%).

I’m no expert in teaching, but having been an ESL teacher in Korea myself where I had no outline of what to teach versus my two years teaching ESL in Sydney with a thorough (but flexible) outline I know which was much more effective and much less stressful.

Around 64% of teachers are teaching students with a prescribed text book for all their classes which only varied by about half a percent between school types.

A comparison of quantity of resources for hakwons vs. public schools

Quantity-wise hakwons also have the wood on public schools with 63% saying they had at least enough to keep them covered whereas for public school teachers this number was 44.6%.

A comparison of the perceived quality of resources for hakwon and public school teachers in Korea

Note: The percentages in the above graphic don’t add up to 100 because respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer. Respondents did this as some of their resources were high quality whilst others were not, etc.

Quality-wise about 20% in each group said the quality of their resources was “OK” but there was a clear distribution difference with 86% hakwon teachers rated their resources as OK or better whereas this was 60.5% for public school teachers. Although it bears reminding that quality is a subject measure (as is quantity as it was asked about in this survey). The above graphic shows who gets the better resources quite poetically, I though.

To be continued in 3B which will be out in two days.

Question of the day: Do you think the quality or quantity of resources makes a difference to how much you enjoy your job?

Photo credit (the teacher with the cute Korean kids): Renato Ganoza via photopin cc

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