Amanda Ripley

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The $4 Million Teacher

4th Aug 2013 posted in Education

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world...

My new book is excerpted in today's Wall Street Journal. This story is from a chapter on South Korea, a place where the best teachers can become millionaires. 

I met Mr. Kim while I was traveling around the world visiting the new education superpowers—places like Finland and Korea that have dramatically improved their education systems and now consistently outperform the U.S. These countries are very different places, of course, but one thing they all have in common is that they’ve evolved to treat education as if it were deadly serious, as if the future of the civilization depended upon it (which, in their cases, it did). That decision changed everything else.

American schools will never make teachers millionaires, it's fair to say. But there are still surprising lessons to be learned from Korea's booming educational bazaar, lessons about how to motivate teachers, how to captivate parents and students and how to adapt to a changing world.