Comparing the US education system

Today I saw the infographic, at the bottom of this article, for the first time. Many of the facts and statistics are not new but many of them bring to light what I have been saying all along. There are many societal differences between Finland and the United States that make a comparison of the two countries education systems more like comparing apples to oranges.

For example, the whole homework idea. As a parent and as a teacher, I have seen that my elementary student has far more homework than my junior high and high school student has. Now I know from being a teacher, that it is not always easy to get homework out these age groups.  However, could it be the nature of the homework and the fact that they’ve had so much in the younger grades that they are fed up with doing it. I also see that fact that most high school students value their jobs over school. Again, this is a societal issue where our high school students are so worried about having a car, the latest and greatest technology, and so on that parents want them to learn how to manage all of this. Are we really teaching them to manage their money and having adult responsibilities or are we teaching them that having it all goes above education? In Finland, homework doesn’t start until they reach this age group.

We can change certain things in our education system to mirror what they are doing in Finland or any other country for that matter.  I firmly believe that the American education system does need to change in some of these ways. However, the changes we want to see won’t completely happen or a positive transformation to our system won’t take place until we have some societal changes as well. Really, the education system is a reflection of the community it is in. Let’s make sure ours reflects what we want to see.

Courtesy of: 

Finnish Education Infographic

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