Education in America still shares roots with its old colonial master. The system of primary, secondary and higher education is familiar. Yet there are distinct differences between the two nations. Are they only cosmetic or can they indicate reasons the UK system is outperforming the US?
Canada has achieved educational success by recruiting high-level teachers, embracing its diversity and working together while still competing on a provincial level. What tips can the U.S. learn from our flourishing neighbor to the north?
The janitor in an American school is commonly an object of ridicule and disrespect, but not in Japan. Every student, rich or poor, average or exceptional, is doing the same type of work. Could students in the U.S. learn from the practice of cleaning up after themselves and others?
One day, you will have to decide. Which direction will your education take you? Are you on an academic course with an advanced degree and an intellectual career? Or are you better suited for hands-on constructive work? In many European schools, students are asked those questions at an early age.
The U.S. education system ranks in the middle of the international pack: number 14 in the 2014 Pearson index, and in the 2012 PISA exams, American 15-year-olds placed 36th in math, 28th in science and 24th in reading. To make the top tier, we need to see what the rest of the planet is doing better.
If statistical trends continue, our poorly trained students will become mediocre workers in a world run by more educated international competitors. How can we reverse this trend? By making education a priority and honoring the men and women on the front lines of the battle.
One of my son’s preschool friends came over with her family for a playdate. I wanted to go for a hike. They suggested a park a couple miles from my house where there were geocaches. What’s a geocache you say? This is a great way to spend time with your family and learn a lot in the process!
Are your students bored with math? Excite them with a baseball lesson. Sports and numbers fit together perfectly. You can’t have a winner without a score. Every game generates statistics. Baseball offers masses of historical data, situational averages and comparative studies.
Is your class in a rut? Have you snipped, glued, colored and sprinkled sparkles on everything you can think of? Are all of your students’ unique and personal creations beginning to look the same? And most importantly, are you concerned they’re not learning anything from it?
Looking at the way students were tested and intelligence was measured, Howard Gardner saw the system was flawed. While it worked to quantify and classify some students, others were overlooked, under-appreciated and mislabeled.
Kids around the world love sports. Although they may speak a different native tongue, their love of play is universal. Educators can harness that common thread to teach their students a new language and culture.