With almost the entire nation getting ready to implement the Common Core State Standards, there is a thorough revolution that the educators are going through. The school administrations have not remained static either. With the latest outcome of PISA results and unfolding of The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013 it is very clear that American school administrations have an excellent opportunity to implement the best international educational policies. Here is a list of the top 10 best educational policies across the globe. American schools can comply with these policies to showcase their unbeatable valor on international platforms.
The constant average performance of the American students in the Program for International Student Assessment over the past ten years clearly indicates the stagnancy that has set in our education system. While China dominates the results in all three categories of Math, science and reading, the results of the American teens continue to remain gloomy. If we want the American students to be globally competitive, it is high time that we look at the best educational practices being observed by other top-performing nations.
We bring to you the top 10 education practices that the best-ranked nations employ to deliver the most effective results. Let us gear up and be the unbeatable educators that the entire world would look up to.
Educating Core Value And Application: Are we making Dumbies who know the price of everything and the value of nothing? Of all ACT tested high school graduates, 56 percent of the students failed to touch the mathematics standard. College Readiness Benchmark data is based on the ACT Profile Report—National: Graduating Class 2013. As per Andreas Schleicher, the special OECD advisor for education policy at CNN, simply 2 percent of the American students can infer the use of math creatively. The same ratio for Shanghai, China is over 30 percent. We need to make our students learn to conceptualize and to apply advance math and science to practical use. They need to learn to be creative with math and science to be globally competitive citizens.
Research, Prepare, And Give Kids A Break: In the US, the number of hours a student is educated is 1080 hours per year while in Finland (the nation that tops the education quality assessment by Pearson) the students are taught for just 600 hours in a year. Do the schools not function for the remaining days? – The remaining hours are given to the teachers to prepare the lesson plans, do further research work and enhance and get better.
While the US students are entitled to just two breaks per year, the students of New Zealand get two-week break in four terms per year. They also take 40 days break during summer. By classifying the breaks as per student’s needs they give a balanced opportunity to the students to retain the information that is taught, to relax, and even to organize their knowledge that they acquire.
Valuing Education: While the US devotes just 2 percent of its national earnings towards betterment of education – China, (the second best scorer of PISA results) devotes 20 percent of its national revenue for betterment of education. This surplus amount even enables them to pay the educators better than what the engineers and lawyers are paid. We need to understand that we must cultivate a culture of valuing education as well as the educators.
The Classroom Atmosphere: Every year the child gets new teachers and a few new classmates too. In Finland, one of the unwavering top-performing nation on the list of PISA test results, the students get promoted along with the teacher. Thus, the same set of students educate with the same teacher year on year. Child psychologists believe that the same atmosphere gives students a more secured atmosphere. This helps them feel at home and concentrate better. On the other hand, the teacher too is familiar with all the strong and weak points of each student and can draft strategies to make them understand in a far more efficient manner.
The Pay scales: The efficiently skilled professionals choose professions that would pay them their worth. When the educators are paid an average starting annual salary of $ 39,000 the message is clear for all the efficient people to look for some other profession and not be a teacher in the US. South Korea, Finland, and Singapore all have much better salary structure and graders for teachers than the US does. With the right amount of income, the teachers remain dedicated to their profession for a long duration and take their profession seriously.
Team up and progress: The stronger and better performers should help the schools that are not doing so well. Though the school district formula does its job yet, there are schools that perform better than the school districts. Shouldn’t performance be the selection criterion than the size? Shanghai has an initiative know as “empowered administration”. Under this theme, the better performing schools pair up with the less-performing schools to help them do better. The experienced administrators share their experiences and line up the best strategies that deliver the required results.
Nurturing the Core Senses: In a survey where 84 percent of the Japanese students declared that they had faith that they have what it takes to succeed and were willing to do whatever it takes to be achievers, just fifty percent of the US students felt the same. The core sense of determination and dedication for achieving whatever is desired needs to be nurtured in American students. The common US belief that intelligence is in your DNA needs alteration.
Capping The Class: There are no restrictions on the number of students in the US classroom, and even 40 students can be placed in a class with a particular teacher, it most certainly is not a healthy practice. The more the number of the students, the lesser would be the amount of individual attention each student gets from the teacher. The Nova Scotia recently declared a cap of 25 students per class w.e.f. 2014.
Parents & Quality Education: The parents too need to be involved in the education of the child in true sense. The parents need to be educated about how they must construct the learning abilities of their children. The emphasis has to be on the effort that the child makes and not on his capability. The parents must nurture the dedication and determination of the child as well. All the Asian nations including China ensure that that the focus is on child’s efforts and not on his ability.
Developing A Healthy Relationship: The parents and teachers both hold an equal amount of importance in a child’s overall development. There should be an effortless positivism between the teacher and student. The overall school attendance of an average American student is 92 percent while that of a Japanese student is 99.98 percent. As the parents need to be more actively involved in the education of the child, the teacher too needs to be a part of the overall development of the child and must be more involved in their personal lives. This would bring them closer and would help develop an absolute positive relationship between the teacher, the student, and the parents.
Finally, the most important thing that the overall education system of America including the education administrators and government needs to understand is that “We need to value education and educators from the core and not just common core.”