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U.S. Vs Asian School System

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Andre' Umansky

Two Systems into One

In the past twenty years the United States school system has been accumulating quite a bit of criticism. Evidence shows that the United States has been lagging exponentially compared to almost all the industrialized countries. This specifically refers to Asian countries that are statistically blowing the U.S. out of the water. Recent survey results in the universal subject of math show us that the U.S. eighth graders have fallen behind, while the twelfth grade level showed only slight improvement (appositive). This means that the U.S. students are barely floating above water, where as, Asian students have built some sort of super boat (appositive). Yet we all recognize that not any one device is perfect, and are usually leaking water in the most unnoticeable spot. Before one realizes the problem, the boat is sinking. We would potentially look at these education systems as extremes of each other. Each education system being on the different side of the spectrum. Both systems having faults and advantages. Taking the positive aspects from both sides and merging them together, a harmonious education system could be established (verb phrase).

The article "Japan's School System" tells us that in an Asian classroom students will feel an incredible amount of pressure starting from grade school and up, while U.S. teachers are too afraid to raise the bar because of potential discouragement of the student. We examine evidence from the article "Strengths, weaknesses, and lessons of Japanese education". A negative of the Asian school system, is the conformity that must be upheld. This achieves better education because it becomes the "thing to do". When everybody is on the same curriculum there is no other choice but to follow the herd. While conformity creates better math students, it demises the aspect of creativity and individuality. The boat may float, but not posses any inspiration or differentiation from the others. The U.S. places a much bigger emphasis on creativity and choice. Thus providing students with opportunities that help them learn about them selves, and develop original ideas. An important characteristic that the U.S. education system lacks, is the idea of effort being directly correlated to success. In his article "Japan's School System", James Kilpatrick states that "The Japanese theory is that all children have the same potential for learning". It is effort that separates successful students from the unsuccessful students.

Though the American student may think that they work hard, we find that the Asian student is at a much greater level of pressure. As we saw in the previous passage, serious pressure is put on the Asian student. In further examination of the article "Japan's School System", a supporter of the catalytic pressure theme, we find many contrasts to the U.S. views of putting pressure on students (appositive). Japanese students attend school six days a week. The school year consists of 220 days compared to the 180 days in the U.S. A third grade Japanese school week consists of eight hours of Japanese, five of arithmetic, three of science, social studies and physical education, two hours of music and art. For an U.S. student this might seem like hell. Yet the only reason this might seem like to much pressure, is because we are judging their system with an ethnocentric point of view. Japanese students think it's quite OK. Humans are a very dynamic and adept species. We always look at things from our conditioned point of view. Thus, if pressure is increased on the U.S. students, the only ones who would have any complaints are current students. Being dynamic and



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