It should come as no surprise that the vast majority of education systems around the world are still based on the centuries-old ex-cathedra principle – the teacher sits at a desk and the students sit opposite the whiteboard and take notes. The important thing to know is that while this system is old, there is nothing inherently wrong with it.
General knowledge is something everyone can absorb and use – it’s the way knowledge is presented, and the way it is consumed that tends to be the problem. This is why certain forward-looking countries have decided to innovate this system and bring education into the 21st century. Here are some of the best learning systems around the world you need to know about.
Canada is stepping up its game
There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Canadian education up until recently, as the country was mostly praised around the world for being a stable economy and a safe zone for global immigrants. Nowadays, though, Canada is quickly rising to the top as one of the more prominent education hubs on the planet. The key strength of Canadian education is that primary and secondary education is not only free but mandatory.
In essence, this means that Canada is emphasizing education across its provinces, so everyone gets to learn and become a productive member of society. This is one of the reasons why Canadian students score above average on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, while the free education ensures there’s a positive incentive to participate.
Finland continues to be at the top
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the unusual and unexpected efficacy of Finland’s education reforms. The thought of children having zero homework coupled with the thought of them leaving all of their books and notes at school over the weekend has certainly made many a US soccer mom faint over the years, yet the system remains as effective as ever.
In Finland, children start school at the age of seven. Interestingly, there are no standardized tests until they reach high school, and no homework to cry over after school. They also have shorter school days, meaning that they have more free time than their American counterparts. With no homework to think about, children can spend time socializing and learning about the world around them with their families.
Hong Kong is thriving with early-childhood development
One of the most interesting education systems in the world comes from Hong Kong, a system that’s not rooted in the legislature but more in the culture that permeates the country. The local culture nurtures early childhood development, which is why many parents choose to enroll their children in an early education centre in Hong Kong in order to start the learning process from a young age. These systems and institutions focus not only on the child’s cognitive development but their motor skills as well.
Through structured play in groups, numerous creative workshops and classes, and a personalized approach to every child, early learning centers focus on instilling a lifelong desire for knowledge in the hearts and minds of children. This way, kids can seamlessly transition into primary and secondary education, and even move on to higher education without any major hurdles or knowledge gaps.
Japan emphasizes technology and moral values
Japan, along with Singapore, and Hong Kong, has a technology-based education architecture. However, there is no denying that Japan’s system is the predominant promoter of technology and its inextricable role in learning efficiency and efficacy. Many would disagree with their children spending so much time tinkering with gadgets and staring at digital whiteboards, yet there is no denying that Japan is producing exemplary students.
In fact, the digitalization of education might be exactly what the digital natives need in order to focus on the subject matter, and consume information at a faster rate. But technology is not the only unique aspect of Japan’s education system – the other one is moral values. A Japanese student learns at a very young age the importance of respect, gratitude, as well as social and moral conduct. This allows them to develop into caring and productive adults.
South Korea is investing in teachers
And finally, South Korea is slowly gaining in popularity, as it’s the teacher-centric approach to education ensures nothing but the best learning experience for the students. South Korea spends 8% of its GDP on education as compared to a 6% average of other countries, and it spends that money investing in its teachers.
The selection process for the school staff is rigorous, to say the least, which ensures the highest level of quality when it comes to the people responsible for imparting knowledge on young, developing minds. Most importantly, teachers have some of the highest salaries in the country, as they are recognized as having some of the most stressful jobs of all industries.
The prevailing education system is old and outdated, perhaps even flawed in many countries, which is why some forward-looking nations have decided to reform their education systems and invest in future generations. Whether you’re moving with your family abroad, or if you’re looking for the right way forward for your child, be sure to consider these systems and the benefits they bring to our children.
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