For this assignment, I chose to compare the educational system of the United States and Canada. Mostly, while looking in depth into the peculiarities of both countries, it appears that there are certain specific differences between the perception of education as such in the two above-mentioned countries, despite the fact that both of them comprise the members of OECD, meaning that the level of social and economic development in these countries is relatively high. With that in mind, one shall mention that differences in the educational system reflect the further outcomes of the social perceptions and the role of education in these societies.
First of all, one shall mention that France unlike the United States strongly shares the values of the welfare state. Namely, such a perception is reflected in the democratic development of the state as such as well as in the sufficient interventionist role of the state in the social activities. However, with the respect to the universalist approach in the education, and its cost and accessibility, France certainly appear to be on top of the US. Despite the fact that the quality of education is equally reputable in both countries, public education historically has been the better organisation. Moreover, while referring to the budget spending from both countries, France has the bigger percent of budget redistribution onto the education, unlike the United States. Moreover, the education system is more equalised in France, as the regulations come directly from the national governments. On the contrary, in the US the system largely relies on the state regulations, so that federal governments set their priorities and receive respective spending for their educational needs. Thus, on one hand it may be seen as the benefit but on the other hand, it turns out to be a drawback.
On the contrary, according to the OECD data, the United States has the highest educational achievements for students. The cultural aspect plays a key role in that regard, too. Given the fact that Americans preserve the culture of competitiveness, it is also spread in the educational settings, too. Besides the competition culture, the United States provides a wider choice of classes for students, which also has a decisive role in boosting students’ motivations. Besides that, the system of choosing the high school according to students’ interests, as it is inherent in France does not provide a viable approach universalization and effective goal-reaching of all students. Thus, the United States is a clear leader in that respect.
While comparing both choices of countries from the perspective of investing the resources, France is the clear leader as the national government invests a relatively high percentage into education. As mentioned above, the United States is driven by the state policies which are not always beneficial for long-term outcomes.
Personally, I would prefer teaching in the United States, as I have a better understanding of the educational system, with its advantages and drawbacks. If I were assigned to teach in France, I would have problems with understanding the country context and would need to readjust my skills. Moreover, the fact that children have a wider choice of classes would also give me more flexibility in designing the teaching process as such. Therefore, I would be certainly willing to teach in my home country, given that these aspects are essential to me. Besides that, the factor of the better understanding of the whole educational system plays the decisive role in the choice I have made for my engagements. Thus, I would certainly prefer teaching in my home country.
- OECD. (n.d.). Education GPS. Retrieved from http://gpseducation.oecd.org/Home
- (2016). Retrieved 12 June 2016, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/2005003.pdf
- Lewis, H. (1985). The French education system. New York: St. Martin’s Press.