KDI 정책포럼 Improving Elementary After-school Program for Child Development
Series No. No. 285 (2021-04), eng.
KDI 정책포럼 Improving Elementary After-school Program for Child Development #초중등교육
- | 관련정보 |
As the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to further strengthen education and childcare, this study looks at the correlation between the participation of elementary school students in after-school programs and their child development and then offers recommendations for developmental outcomes among elementary school children through after-school activities.
● Author - Kim InKyung, Fellow at KDI
● Go to related report - Improving Elementary After-school Program for Child Development
- | 스크립트 |
After school, elementary school children head to after-school classes or private academies.
After-school programs offer education and childcare incorporating different school subjects and extracurricular activities.
KDI looked into how closely related after-school programs and private education are to child development.
Unlike private education, children attending after-school programs showed varying developmental outcomes.
The reason seems to be the difference between after-school activities and private education in program composition depending on the duration of student participation, instructor characteristics, or teaching methodology. Let’s take a closer look.
Using the Korean Children and Youth Panel Survey,
based on the hours of participation in after-school programs and private education,
KDI analyzed satisfaction with school transcripts, cognitive-enhancing stimulation, social-emotional development, and physical development of elementary school children.
First, take a look at satisfaction with school transcripts and cognitive-enhancing stimulation. Factors for cognitive-enhancing stimulation include academic enthusiasm, dedication, vigor, efficacy, and immersion.
Children attending after-school programs showed improved vigor, and those who took part in private education saw increases in satisfaction with school transcripts and all sub-items under academic enthusiasm.
Next, it examined social-emotional development in emotional issues, cooperative consciousness, grit, and peer relationships. Emotional issues include attention, aggressiveness, physical symptoms, and depression.
Children who participated in after-school programs exhibited improvement in grit but not aggressiveness, depression, physical symptoms, and peer relationships. On the contrary, those engaged in private education improved their aggressiveness, grit, attention, cooperative consciousness, and peer relationships.
Lastly, health status assessment and body mass index (BMI) were checked to see physical development.
Children exhibited positive health assessment and BMI results when participating in after-school programs. And attending private education also yielded improvement in health status assessment.
Then, what policy actions are recommendable for after-school programs to provide balanced development support for elementary school students?
First, regular schools and after-school programs need to be linked sharing students’ interests and learning history.
In this way, students learn academic concepts in regular classes and gain hands-on experiences at after-school programs, reinforcing their cognitive skills.
Also, after-school instructors need to better understand students and guide them with warmth for social-emotional skills development.
(Interview with the author)
Recently, there has been a growing notion that schools should play a more substantial role in providing education and childcare, and after-school programs should evolve in keeping with such demands. Above all, it is instructors that play the most crucial part. Given the importance, education authorities should set up compulsory training courses for prospective after-school instructors.
So far, after-school programs have come up short. Tasks associated with these out-of-school-time programs, such as bookkeeping and instructor selection, often get in the way of prepping for regular classes, and participating children lose program continuity when they move up to the next grade level or their instructor changes.
With local governments overseeing after-school activities, the program can integrate basic-level courses provided by individual schools with advanced programs by local communities. As a result, this integrated operation would benefit children with more systematic learning.
■ As the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to further strengthen education and childcare, this study looks at the correlation between the participation of elementary school students in after-school programs and their child development and then offers recommendations for developmental outcomes among elementary school children through after-school activities.
- After-school programs are educational and caring activities that schools offer for a certain period apart from the regular school curriculum, tailored to the needs of students and parents. Students choose a course from a list of diverse program options, encompassing school subjects and special talent and aptitude programs.
■ The analysis finds no consistent correlation between participation in after-school activities and the development of elementary school students.
- As for the after-school program, less than one hour of participation led to better health status assessments, and for two to three hours, there were improvements in academic vigor, grit, and body mass index (BMI) but decreased aggressiveness, depression, and peer relationship. In contrast, physical symptoms worsened when participating for two or more hours.
- Such results may be attributed to the differences between the programs, such as varying content composition depending on operating hours, teaching methods, and instructor characteristics.
■ For after-school programs to shore up student competencies, they should share student guidance information with regular classes, form a close link with the regular curriculum, and provide sufficient care backed by positive interactions.
- Provided that student information such as interests, experiences, developmental characteristics, learning history, etc., is exchanged between elementary school courses and after-school programs, the extracurricular activities may provide in-depth stimulation for learning based on the data.
- Affectionate and nurturing care is a prerequisite to bringing out students' potential.
■ It is necessary to expand the instructor pool competent in achieving the well-rounded development of children, widen the scope of after-school program providers to local communities, and have local governments take a managing role over the programs for efficient and effective management.
- In addition to providing compulsory training courses for prospective after-school instructors, the instructor selection process should adopt multi-faceted personality interviews to find out candidates' responses about a given classroom situation for a comprehensive assessment.
- Local governments should play a managing role in planning, promoting, and overseeing after-school activities in the region, including after-school programs at schools. Meanwhile, schools should actively engage and cooperate within this framework by informing after-school program registration details and providing a venue.
2. Analysis of the correlation between elementary students’ participation in after-school activities and child development
3. Policy Suggestions
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