What We Can Learn From Other Countries About Education
A full and rounded educational background is beneficial for any child and, as they go through adolescence into adulthood, it offers them a chance to enter the grown-up world as well-actualized individuals. In seeking to achieve this, it makes sense that we can learn not just from a prescribed syllabus as laid down in schools, but from the wider world.
The way people learn in other countries is not necessarily better, but it is different – and by assimilating influences, we can deliver a more holistic way of seeing the world which lives on with pupils up to college graduation and beyond.
As well as the German-influenced concept of Waldorf parenting, which takes a broader view of education and encourages both creativity and discipline, there are other aspects to learning that can be underpinned by looking at how education is delivered in other parts of the world. Below, we’ll take a look at ideas we can learn from, and how they benefit the students who are educated under those systems.
Finnish Schools Do Not Separate Kids by Ability
Perpetually among the nations at the top of the tree when it comes to the happiness of its inhabitants, Finland takes an innovative approach to a range of social programs, including education. In Finnish schools, classes are not “streamed” or divided into stronger and weaker groups. While some would argue that this risks holding back more able pupils or leaving behind the less able ones, studies show that Finnish schools perform at a consistently high level.
Australian Schools Specialize in Senior Years
When students leave high school and look towards college, they move from being educated across a range of subjects to learning in-depth in one area (as well as picking a minor). The learning curve can be substantial and something of a culture shock, which Australian schools avoid by implementing a Higher School Certificate (HSC) program. Dedicated HSC tutoring prepares students for a future educational career that involves research and focused study, and means they hit the ground running at tertiary level.
Japanese Schools Prioritize Pupil-Centered Learning
Much of a pupil’s education will, by nature, be primarily didactic. Unavoidably, a teacher (who may have classes in a range of year groups) will have a tailored way of delivering knowledge – and cannot help but have limited ability to empathize with pupils who may be decades younger than them. Japanese schools go to great lengths to approach learning collectively, ensuring that pupils can pick up knowledge not just from the teacher, but from their peers too. This doesn’t just help the pupil who is learning; the one who is teaching gains valuable structure and thinks more about what they know, which has benefits for their own education.
It is a matter of personal preference whether one thinks that another nation’s educational system is “better” or “worse”. What we can agree is that other countries do things differently, and by assimilating parts of what they do, we can make education more effective for our own children and allow them to develop in a more in-depth way.