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    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Jul 17, 2002
    Continuation of this thread

    "If I had to rate the level of civilisation of a country on its compulsory education system, compared to my ideals, Japan would score 50%, the US 30%, and the average Western European countries 60%..."
    Nice to hear our European brethren consider us so uncivilized.
    Sorry Iron Chef, but Non-British European secondary school (highschool) exchange students who go and study to the States to learn English, as did lot's of my friends (I went to Australia and Germany) all say that an American 12th grade student learn the same as most European 9th graders, especially in maths or sciences.

    I would actually divide Continental European education system and Emglish-speaking ones. The former includes France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Benelux, Switzerland, Austria Scandinavia and maybe other countries too.

    It seems that in Britain, the US or Australia, students have to choose subjects, while others (like English) are compulsory. In Cont. Europe everybody must learn all primary subjects (their native language, maths, sciences, history, geography, physical edducation...) and usually several foreign languages. In my school, everybody had to choose between 2 and 4 languages among 6 (incl. Latin and Ancient Greek). I had 3, because I had also a lot of sciences and maths and couldn't take more. In my school at least, students could choose to add hours in mandatory subjects. There are lots of optional subjects such as economy, sociology, psychology, religion, etc.

    When I was in Australia, everyone had to choose 3 or 4 subjects for each of the last 2 grades/forms. As it was possible to choose just Phys.Ed., Drama, Outdoor activities and Arts, with English being obligatory, it means that these highschool students who have no maths, no sciences, no history, no geography and no foreign languages at all. Is that also possible in the States ? What's more, as each subject only accounted for 5h/week, so the total school time was a mere 20 to 25h/week, against 30 to 35h in general in most of Europe, I believe (I'd like to hear other voices from my European compatriots on this).

    But European schooling system only got 60% in my rating because I think we should start everything about 3 years earlier than it is now. When I entered kindergarten at 3, I thought I was going to learn to read and write, but was bitterly disappointed (and bored as a consequence). I longed for history and sciences classes since I was 6 or 7, but didn't get any till age 10 ! Maybe it's just me, but I have always found school to be so slow and basic compared to my real needs.

    I had a very good teacher in primary school when I was 10-11years old. He taught us about Sciences (table of elements, etc), History (from the Hun invasion of Rome to Marco Polo's visit to China), the root of words in Latin and Greek (such as "geo- = earth, -logy = study, demos=people, cratos=power... ), told us about Greek philosophers, as well as lots of other interseting things. Unfortunately, this only depends on th teacher one has, not the government programme. These are things that were still taught at university because so many people lacked this basic knowledge. So, University turned out to be boring too, because I already knew most of what we learned.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Apr 18, 2003 at 18:38.

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