American and british education
I like to start with education in Britain. In Great Britain is education compulsory from 5 to16 years. We can divided 3 kind of education, there are : 1.state schools
2. private schools, which are also called
independent and also
3. alternative education.
So in state schools is free education and its co-educational, it means that boys and girls are together.
At the age of 3 or 4 go children to nursery school. Nursery school or kindergarten is pre-preparatory education and children play games there, maybe learn colours, but mainly they find there their first friends. From 5 to 11 they attend primary school, which has 2 stages: from 5 to 7 its called infant and children try there read, write and learn basics of maths. 2nd stage is junior stage and children between 7 and 11 learn there more subjects. At the age of 12 they go to secondary school and they can select of 3 types of secondary schools. These types are: grammar
Grammar school is selective school. Students have to pass an entrance exam, if they want to attend this school, and they get academic education.
Comprehensive schools arent selectiv and there are students with mix abilities, they learn practical skill. About 93% of students in Britain go to comprehensive secondary schools.
Modern schools use some modern methods.
We can also use other way how to divide school system in Britain. Its called system B. It divides schools to first, from 5 to 8,
middle, from 8 to 13 and
secondary, from 13 to 16
Alternative education it means that parents can teach their children, they have right for it and they dont need any qualification. But they are controled by Local Education Authorities.
Private schools are independent and very expensive schools. Parents have to pay tuition fee. This schools are mainly in England. Their system consists of pre-preparatory schools ( from 5 to 8),
preparatory schools ( from 8 to 13) and
public schools ( from 13 to 18)
Preparatory schools prepare students for Common entrance exminations, which they have to pass if they want to study at the public school, but much more important are money. This schools attend mainly children from Royal Family and from rich families. Private schools are usually single-sex and boarding. Boarding school it means that students stay there during the week or month and go home only at weekend. The most famoust are Eton, Harrow and Rugby.
School year in Britain is divided into 3 terms, into: autumn term from September to Christmas with 10-day Christmas holiday
spring t. from Christmas to Easter with 10-day
summer t. from Easter to mid July with 6 week
In the middle o the terms is 5-day holiday, it s called halfterm and at the end of each term students get a report and at the end of year they get certificate.
Normal school day in Britain starts at about 8.45 with registration. Pupils go to the form class and they meet there their home room teacher, he or she is also called form tutor, who checks the attendance. During the year pupils build up a close relationship with the form tutor who solve the problems with discipline, poor academic results, future careers advice etc.
At about 9.00 they gather in assembly where is headmaster who talks with them, who give them important ifomations e.g. about discipline problems, rules and regulations, information relating to new clubs or outings, new concerning achievements of individuals or teachers etc. In the end there is religious worship and they say prayers or listen reading from the Bible.
At 9.15 begin lessons which last 55 minute. They have 2 lessons and then during the mid-morning break children can buy sweets and drinks from the school tuck shop or they can spend their time outside in the playground. After break there is one more lesson and than they have a lunch break which is about 1 hour long. Pupils can eat lunch in the school canteen, where complaints about the food are frequent, or they can eat their own packed lunch. The children whose parents are on low income are often entitled to free school meals. After the lunch there is time for two more lessons and pupils can go home at about 3.15, but some of them remain there to participate in extra sports activities or to take part in numerous clubs. These are kinds of extra curricular activities.
These activities are organized by school in addition to the normal curriculum and aren´t compulsory, but students are encouraged to participation. The most common forms of these activities are school clubs, daily outings and field trips. Clubs are organized and run by teachers outside normal school hours and may include interests such as drama, video, chess, sport ( mainly football and rugby ),, stamp collecting, music, dance, computer programming, photography, cooking, political debats and even the compilation of a school newspaper. I think that many schools in our republic promise selfsame, but they arent able to retain required quality.
Outings are normally organized during school hours and may take on a variety forms these outings have a vocational function and may consisits of visits to local factory, newspaper office, museum, art gallery exhibition, cinema, monument etc.
Field trips may be undertaken over a weekly period and parents are expected to cintribute to the cost of trip. Students can gain more practical knowledges about subjects such as Biology, History, Geography etc. Accomodation might be provided by Youth Hostels and students would be expected to cook their own food and do the washing up.
National Curriculum was founded in 1988 by Education Reform Act and says what is taught in subjects and how many subject must be taught. According National Curriculum are subjects divede into core and foundation. Core subjects are English, Mathematic and Science and foundation are e.g. History, Geography, Musik, Art, Foreign Languages, Physical education, Technology etc.
But schools arent charge only of education, they should provide students models of behavior which are expected to help them in the future. Hidden curriculum is system of rules and each student have to follow this rules. Pupils or students who failed this rules are normally punished by teacher on duty who supervised corridors and playgrounds. If is problem more serious, student is send to their form tutor or to headmaster. Offences cen be minor or serious. Miner ofences are e.g. not to doing homeworks, going late on lessons etc. and more serious are smoking in the toilets, possession of drugs, bullying ? it means that some stronger and older student is cruel and hurt to somebody weaker, play truancy ? it means that student doesnt go to school but isnt ill, stealing, fighting, not wearing the uniform and cheating in an exam. Punishment takes on a variety forms and it is not necessarily the same in all schools. These are some of them: not common is nowadays corporal punishment. In the past were students physically punished by cane which may still be used in independent private schools. The most typical punishment is to be in detention- students have to stay behind at school, they have to be silent or write lines ( in AE it is called to do standards ) ? they write some sentences many times. More serious punishment is to be on report. Students hand in their report cards at the end of every lesson and teacher write down their behavior which they have to point their form tutor and parents. During temporary exclusion ( also suspension ) is student forbidden from school for some days and parents have to visit the schoool, form tutor and headmaster. Expulsion (suspention) is the most serious punishment. Student is expelled ( banned from school), he cant study at that school and if he want to continue with studying, he must choose another school where everybody knows about his past record.
Now, I would like the talk about the assessment and qualifications up to the age of 16. Students are measured according to national standards at the ages of seven, eleven, forteen and sixteen. At the age of sixteen the main form of assessment is the General Certificate of Secondary Education – GCSE . this examination is claimed to assess not only what a students know, but also the understanding and application of that knowledge. More important are skills than memorization of facts. It is also called O-level, O means ordinary. It consists of 6 or 7 subjects and it finishs compulsory education. Students wishing to continue their studies normally choose to do A-level, A means advanced. This examination do students at the age of 18 and it si made up of 2,3 and sometimes of 4 subjects. There are 3 main types of educational establishments which can lead up students to this exams. They can stay at school in the 6th form or can go to Sixth Form College which provides better preparartion for university studying or to College of Further Education where they can get some practical, vocational courses and get qualification, but the first two categories are the most common. A ? level exams specialise in related subjects, it is written and it usually lasts 3 hours. There must be observed absolute silence and cheating is severely punished. Students are informed of their results by letter in about six weeks. It is marked on seven point scale, students make an application and universities make and offer. They require certain grades. When students have required grades, they are admited, but when students dont have them, they are rejected.
A number of places at universities are available and students are in competition. Before starting higher education many students decide to take a year off because they want travel or learn languages, many students simply need a break from studying, they want to have rest. Universities are very expensive and that si why many students go to work where can they also get an experience. They can do full-time job or part-time job. In Britain there are 47 universities with approximately 650 000 students. British students receive grants from their Local Educational Authority. Grant is sum of money which depends on the income of their parents and which should cover their tuition fees and part of their living expenses. Students can also get a scholarship for good results.
Most students choose to live away from home and are accomodated on campus. It is university area with many bars, clubs, cinemas, theatres, discos, concerts and also many parties are hold there. Graduate courses are full time, and attendance of lectures, seminars and tutorials is compulsory. Tutors help students with study, they discuss homeworks, essays etc. If somebody dont pass the exams he or she usually cant re-take them. After 3 years studying they can get the 1st title, Bachelor degree. Students are undergraduated and their title can be BA, BSc or BEd. After another two years they can get Master degree ? MA, MSc or MEd. PhD degree can get somebody after about 10 or 11 years of studying and title is Doctor of Philosophy.
Universities in Britain are divided to 3 groups according their popularity and reputation. The oldest, the most famous, with the best reputation but also very expensive are Oxbridge universities from the break of 12th and 13th century. The word Oxbridge is composit of Oxford and Cambridge. The second group of colleges was founded at the end of 19th or at beginning of 20th century. These are called redbrick and were built in some industrial areas such as Manchester to educate people for industry and are connected with local industrial branches. The last group is group of new universities which were founded in 1960s. These arent so famous and dont have such a good reputation.
EDUCATION IN USA
There is big difference between British and American education. In the USA there is no National curriculum, each state has own different curriculum policy. But there is Federal Department of Education which makes some basic rules and in every area there are also school boards which consist of elective people and they say what must be taught, do a local control etc. Education must be free for all children between the ages of 5 and 16 regardless of their sex, race, religion, physical handicaps, learning problems or their ability to speak English. Students wishing to continue with studying have right to free state education up to the age of 18. Schools and church are separated, no religious education is provided by schools in America. Schools are funded by state and money usually comes from property taxes and this is reason of wide differences in schools from poorer and richer area. This disparties often persuade parents to move to an area with a number of good schools or in extreme cases to send their children to private schools. Public schools are called all state schools.
School in America normally starts at 8.30 or 9.00 a.m. and finishes at about 3.30 p.m. Pupils attend school for an average five hours a day, five days a week and school year ends in June. Students are usually required to salute the American flag before commencing lessons. They put their right hand over their heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Schools provide equipment. Student dont have to buy their own pens and exercise books and also text book are loaned to them.
Now, Id like to talk about the school sytem in America. There are number of free nursery schools too, but state school education officialy begins at the age of six, when children enter the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL which consists of kindergarten and of grades 1-6. Each year is reffered to by a grade number. Kindergarten is also called K-grade, it is obligatory, compulsory and children learn there alphabet. During next six years pupils learn reading, writing, speaking, basic of maths etc. At the age of twelve children move to the SECONDARY SCHOOL which consisits of Junior High and High School which are very often in one building, but sometimes is Junior High part of Elementary School building. Junior High is something like a Middle School, it lasts two year ? grades 7-8. During the last four years students go to High School and they are called a freshmen in the ninth grade, a sophomore in the tenth grade, a junior in the eleventh grade and a senior in the twelfth. There are two main types of High Schools in America ? comprehensive which is major and more vocational which is more practical.
Subject are divided to core or basic and these are English, Mathematic, Science, History, and Foreign Language and to optional or elective and these are e.g. Art, Music, Cooking, Typing etc. Children often learn by inquiry rather than memorizing the facts. During High School students complete courses and earn credits. If they obtain a minimum number they receive a High School diploma. All subjects are graded each term. Grades vary between A and D or F for fail. For each A they get 4 points, a B is three points etc. The higher Grade Point Average ( G.P.A.) students have at the end of school, the greater their chances to get o good job or a college place will be. At the end of High School, and also at the and of four years in college, there is ceremony called graduation, in which the students receive their diploma or degree. The graduating seniors wear caps and gowns and all the proud moms and dads attend. One of the most important events for many high school students is the prom party. Its held every year in spring and it is very formal. Girls have evening dresses and boys wear tuxedo, they usually rent it. Prom party isnt for parents and other students but only for senoirs who go in pairs and gave each other presents. Boys wear bouquet of flowers on jacket on lapel in buttonhole and girls on shoulder or round their wrist. They also vote the queen and king of party.
There are about 3 000 public and private universities in America. They are idependent and quite expensive. They have a very good reputation, they have excellent libraries, research laboratories and very good teachers, some people researching at American universities are even winners of Nobel Prize. If somebody want to study at university he or she has to have good G.P.A. ( which I reffered ), S.A.T. ( it is Scholastic Aptitude test ), he or she has to make an application with essay and very important are also elective subjects, extra curricular activities and sometimes good results in sport. American education has no age limit. Adults of any age can study for a high school diploma. Many parents finish their university degrees after their children left home. Nowadays many universities turn to industry, private foundations and federal government for financial support and thus jeopardise their poitical and cultural autonomy. But tuition fees which are very high make up considerable part of their income. There are some ways to pay for college:
– the parents pay for it all. They are either so rich or they take out a loan or even re-mortage their house.
– the student gets grant or scholarship from college, the state, a charible organization or a company. Grants get only students if their parents are extremely poor. Scholarship can get anyone for excellent grades or for athletic excellence, but they must be in need of money.
– the student works full time during the summer and part time during the school year. They often work in restaurants, bars, in the college kitchens, baby-sitting or as sales assistants.
– the student takes out a student loan. It usually lasts about ten years after graduation to pay it back.
Many students such as in Britain tend to choose a college or university which is far from home and that is why most of them live on campuses situated in or near the university. They have to pay for room and board.
Fraternities and sororities are organizations of college students. Fraternities are clubs for boys and sororities for girls but both have a house in which members live, and where parties are organized.
Members have to go through initiation rites which are sometimes quite cruel and pay fees. Each society has a name which consists of 2 or 3 Greek letters.
The most prestigious and expensive universities are called Ivy League and this group consists of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth College, Princeton and Pensylvania. (nickname Ivy League means that these colleges are very old and on their building often grows ivy )
Students who are accepted are usually required to study general course in the arts or the science for the first two year and than they choose a major ( subject or area of studies ). After 4 years of studying they receive Bachelor degree, after another two years Master degree and later for consideration of research work Doctor degree.
Institution of higher education in America can we divided to 4 groups: universities, colleges, community colleges and technical training institutes. The most common are universities and colleges and difference is that at college you can get only a Bachelor degree. Community college lasts 2 years. There are courses which lead up to professional qualifications and credits are transferable to a college or university. Technicial training institutes offer some practitional vocational courses.
Talking about education in America we must mention discrimination. In the past many ethnic groups suffered from discrimination and it was stopped in 1960s by Civil Right Movement which led M.L.King. But in America there were also dicrimination of women. E.g. Harvard University was founded in 1636 by John Harvard and women couldnt study here. 1st woman could study here as late as 1969. By then women could study at Redcliffe. Nowadays we talk only about positive discrimination. It means that those people who suffer in the past have advantages now.