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A Look into DGHS Library and Students' Reading Preferences

By Da-Eun Lee, Hyun-Seo Cho, Su-Yeon Kim (DG reporters)

This summer, three reporters conducted researches on the library of Dongtan Global High School (DGHS) to find out the ratio of humanity-related books to science-related books and to find the preferences of the students based on the books that they borrowed the most. DGHS is a school that focuses on subjects mainly related to social studies, so the researchers had thought it would be interesting to see if the library reflected the purpose of the school. They predicted that there would be more books related to humanities and that the students would prefer to read more of these types of books. All the researches in this article were possible thanks to the DGHS librarian who willingly cooperated in the research.

 

 

Category
Percentage (%)
General
4.21
Philosophy
6.78
Religion
1.85
Social Studies
16.99
Natural Sciences
5.82
Computer Sciences
4.75
Art
6.84
Languages
10.90
Literature
33.40
History
8.4

 

 

The first research was about the types of books in the library. The books in the library are following a coding called Korean Decimal Classification (KDC) system. This categorizes the books into a total of ten categories: General, Philosophy, Religion, Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Computer Sciences, Arts, Language, Literature, and History. Literature is a big category that encompasses all fiction books, thus it could be thought of as a part of humanity-related books.

 

The result was not surprising. In total, there are 19,414 books in the library, and out of them, the category that accounted for more than a third of the whole library catalogue was literature. The number of books categorized as literature was 6,484, which was 33.40% of the library catalogue. Out of the nonfictions, the highest was Social Studies, with number of 3,298 books. Again, this was an expected result because DGHS is mainly focused on subjects related to humanities and literature.

 

Then it was followed by language, with 2,116 books. From the third place to the last, there were not any major differences between the book counts. After language, the list was followed by history (1,643 books), arts (1,327 books), philosophy (1,317 books), natural sciences (1,129), computer sciences (922), general (818), and lastly, religion (360). However, the fact that the category with the lowest number of books was religion was surprising because the previous hypothesis was that either natural sciences or computer sciences would be the category with the lowest number of books. In general, save for one surprising result, the pattern showed that there were more humanity-related books in the DGHS Library.

 

In the following research, the reporters investigated the top 100 books checked out in DGHS library. This was to find out the actual preferences of the students based on the books that they checked out the most. The prediction was that students would read more humanity-related books because of the characteristic of DGHS as being a school focusing on studies related to humanities. Here is the result.

 

Footnote for the graph: This data includes various books that were required for certain courses or assessments

 

In general, students borrow literature books the most, and this could be seen in the fact that 75 books out of 100 top rented books were literature books. While literature was an almost dominant preference for DGHS students, the next top checked-out was related to social studies. 17 books out of 100 books were social studies books. Social studies was then followed by natural sciences (3 books), language (2 books), history (2 books), and philosophy (1 book). The result of this particular research showed that DGHS students prefer to read fiction than non-fiction, and if they do choose a non-fiction book, it is likely to be related to social studies.

 

Both researches conducted showed that the library, too, was mainly focused on humanity-related books. Relatively, there was more supply of books that were categorized literature, language, social studies, than books that were categorized natural sciences or computer sciences. The second research showed that students have a distinct preference on humanity related subjects when it comes to their choice of books. In this school, students have more interest on humanities-related subjects, and this might be due to that the jobs that students are aiming for are related to social studies or literature. However, the reporters would like to conclude this research by encouraging students to read more. And this time, to read proportionately. As Dr. Seuss mentioned, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go.”

 

 

By Da-Eun Lee, Hyun-Seo Cho, Su-Yeon Kim (DG reporters)

dongtan globe

Strong Stride toward Excellence

The pleasant scent of autumn has spread and the campus of Dongtan Global High School is enveloped in cool wisps of the fragrant harvest breezes of fall. Just as the nearby rice fields have grown into sturdy, golden stalks so too has our school matured and taken firm root in the city of Hwaseong.

 

  With the school’s first commencement ceremony last winter, sending the graduates far and wide to make their mark in the world, already another group of seniors are about to take one of the biggest exams of their lives. My fellow students are eager to honor the name of the school, and the new recruits are more competent than ever. The campus has been blooming with special events, academic challenges, and new clubs and activities where students have been showing their persistence, creativity, and expertise. It seems DGHS is ever more fruitful with every year that passes.

 

  In the third publication of the Dongtan Globe, we have taken strides to meet the rising standard of the school. The reporters and editors have tried to deliver the best of their work, striving to meet the high expectations. In consequence, we were able to present more extended and finer edition to you. And I, the third chief editor, will return the honor to the hard-working members of the the Dongtan Globe and contributors who willingly participated in the publication.

 

  Previously, feature stories focused on topics associated with the annual Joint Academic Conference of Global High Schools. This year, however, we’ve taken a different approach and will be discussing the controversy regarding integration of the liberal arts and natural sciences tracks in South Korean high schools.

 

  The topic is fairly recent as the Ministry of Education is starting to implement education of no border between natural sciences and liberal arts. There are many controversies whether the integration is necessary or not. In our feature, we cover various arguments and facts about the issue. Specifically, the feature discusses the issue first in the historical context and then through its progression of current decision to integrate the tracks. Within this discussion, the feature spotlights the concept of consilience of Edward O.Wilson which will help readers to understand the ideology behind the track integration argument.

 

  In addition, we’ve included a wide range of articles covering other domestic and international issues such as Crimean crisis, school life including articles about an invited professor and a reporter, and even reviews of some recent music, book, and movie.

 

As usual, we thank you for your continued support and readership and hope that you enjoy this year’s edition of the Dongtan Globe.

 

By Jong-Seo Park
DG editor-in-chief

 

The Humanities Matter

 Korean high school education has been offering distinct curriculum tracks for the last several decades: liberal arts and natural sciences. As of 2018, however, those two separate tracks are supposed to be integrated into one comprehensive track. Debates are raging surrounding this issue. While advocates argue that the integrated curriculum be implemented in order to produce creative talents fitting the consilience spirit of the 21st century, opponents argue that it is premature to decide that now. Rather, they insist, all we need to do is strengthen basic skills under the current split curriculum.

 

  I believe an integrated curriculum is eventually the right choice to make. This academic approach is already a mainstay of many developed countries such as the United States and most western European countries. The underlying philosophy behind their policy is that both quality of living and competitiveness can be enhanced only when scientists are armed with humanities refinements and entrepreneurs possess good knowledge of natural science.

 

  I support this approach, and believe additionally that humanistic values are closely associated with cultural industries, and developing them in each individual will be beneficial to society. The general idea behind cultural industries is that popular culture produces cultural goods such as printed media, music, television, film, as well as crafts and design. They are knowledge-based and labor-intensive, and not only create employment and wealth, but also drive the norms of a particular society. Thus, in nurturing creativity, analysis and reflection, and fostering innovation, societies will maintain cultural diversity, enhance economic performance, and advance the sciences while also promoting sustainable, peaceful societal standards.

 

  The essential point is that technology alone cannot lead itself to beneficial cultural industries. That is, we cannot produce a movie only with quality cameras, audio, and special effects. The storytelling is indeed crucial to the development of an entertaining and profitable film. In addition, a film that is only entertaining and profitable is also not necessarily a promotion of wholesome societal norms. The story must also celebrate, at least subtly, positive cultural goods to build enthusiasm for positive cultural attitudes such as cooperation and sustainability. Steve Jobs might be a genius, but he is not supposed to create iPhone all by himself. In the modern world, cooperation of the humanities and the sciences is integral to success. And being successful is not just about profitability, but about creating sustainable societies.

 

  Thus, an individual who has built an upright character is one who is not only a master of formulas and rules, but also an engine of creativity and innovation, based on cultural norms which promote peace, cooperation, and sustainability. This is the reason why we study the humanities.

 

By SangYol Cheong
Principal, DGHS