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How does Asia’s education system differ from the US?

by - 7:42 PM

How does Asia’s education system differ from the US?

It is no secret that the American education system has its fair share of problems, and although there are a great many people involved in that system that are working extremely hard to make it better, the nation is falling behind other countries when it comes to the education of our children.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that the US education system results fall below nearly all other major industrial nations, and there is a particular gap when it comes to Asian countries. In subjects such as reading, math and science there is a worrying difference between the US and the rest of the world.

There are so many amazing destinations throughout Asia, but are there aspects of the education system in countries such as Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong that the US could emulate to improve the situation in the US – especially for the most disadvantaged students?

Room for improvement

The grading system in Asia differs quite a lot from what Americans would be used to. Schoolwork is marked in a far more precise way that indicates exactly where work for improvement should be focused. With such a detailed system in place, teachers know more precisely how the students are doing.

Too friendly?

It may depend on your personal viewpoint on how students should interact with their teachers but it is true that the relationship is far more pronounced in the Asian education system than back at home. In a school for Americans in Hong Kong there would not be such a casual student-teacher relationship. A strict hierarchy is in place and some would argue that this enforces the idea that the students must do what they are told.

No one left behind

A major reason why schools in Asia are outperforming their American counterparts is that the idea that any student would fall behind the rest is not acceptable. Whereas there are excuses given on a cultural level in the US that enforce assumptions of failure for some students, a school in Singapore would test their students early on to see who needed extra help. The idea that everyone should achieve and progress is accepted by all, and no one is ever allowed to fail completely.

Respect for teachers

That doesn’t mean respect from the students, but from society itself. In the US, teachers who work in low-income or disadvantaged areas are paid less. That doesn’t happen in Asia and, in fact, the value afforded to those in the education system is reflected in their pay and also how the public views them. Maybe if American teachers were more respected our students would achieve higher grades.

Look and learn

It is not true that America just copying the education system of a nation such as Singapore would suddenly improve everything, however, taking aspects of what is proven to be a better way of schooling must be a good idea to start with.

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