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American education system


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Presentation of the American secondary education system, school traditions etc. Will be interesting to

Published in: Education

American education system

  1. 1. + The American Education System 21 December 2011 Ariana Tobin: Fulbright English Fellow Danielle Montagne: English Language Fellow
  2. 2. + Objective:During today’s lecture, we will discuss: The American Public School System (K-12)  [A Brief] History of Education in America  The goals/learning objectives of Public Schools in America  Traditional Structure/Variations in Public School Structures  American Public Elementary, Middle and High School  Teacher/Student Case Studies Alternative Education Options (K-12) Contemporary Social Issues in k-12 Education Follow up Discussion Questions & Student Questions
  3. 3. + Warm Up Questions…The American Public School System What do you know about the American Education system? Are there any stereotypes about American education or American students that you know of? How/where have you learned information about the American School system? How do you think American school system differs from the Belorussian School system? How do you think the American School system is similar to the Belorussia School system?
  4. 4. + The American Public School System (K-12)History of the American Public School System The first American schools in the thirteen original colonies opened in the 17th century.  Established for wealthy families who could afford to send their children to school. One room school houses would often serve primary, middle and high school age students. For most families, literacy and mathematics education was done in the homes—often by mothers –during America’s early history. Education for women, African Americans and non-English speaking immigrants was limited or outlawed until the 20th century.
  5. 5. + History of the American Public School System After the American Revolution, an emphasis was put on education:  Especially true in the northern states, which rapidly established public schools. By the year 1870, all states had free public elementary schools. Private academies flourished in the towns across the country, but rural areas (where most people lived) had few schools before the 1880s. By 1900, the US population had one of the highest literacy in the world. Education seen as necessary for developing intelligent American citizens capable in participating in all social and political realms of life.
  6. 6. + Early American Schools…
  7. 7. +Modern goals of the American Public School System Education is often seen as a means to deliver equality to all American citizens. K-12 Education is compulsory for all American children. Education is mainly provided by the public sector and funded by the federal, state and local governments. School curricula, funding, teaching, employment, and other policies are set through locally elected school boards who have control over a specified school district. The modern goals of the American education system is to develop:  A well-rounded individual prepared with  critical thinking skills  problem solving skills  creativity when approaching real life situations.
  8. 8. +Traditional Structure of the American School System (K-12) The American School system traditionally consists of:  Pre-school (age 3-5) –not compulsory  Primary School/Elementary School  Kindergarten (age 5-6)  Grades 1-6 (ages 6-12)  Middle School  Grades 7-8 (ages 12-14)  High School  Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)
  9. 9. + K-12 Structures
  10. 10. +American Primary/Elementary Schools Public Elementary School teachers instruct between 20-30 students of diverse learning needs. A typical classroom will include children with a range of learning needs or abilities, from those identified as having special needs (special education) to students non-native English speakers (ESL students). Each local school district gives each teacher a book to give to the students for each subject, and brief overviews of what the teacher are expected to teach. Learning standards are identified for all areas of a curriculum by individual States, including those for mathematics, social studies, science, physical development, the fine arts, and reading. Elementary School teachers are trained with emphases on human cognitive and psychological development and the principles of curriculum development and instruction. Teachers typically earn either a Bachelors or Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.  Certification standards for teachers are determined by individual states.
  11. 11. + Images of an American Elementary School…
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  13. 13. + Case Study: Typical Day of American Primary School Teacher A typical teacher works 8 hours, 5 days a week, at the same school. [September-June]  Federal Holidays and Summer Vacations off from work. Primary school teachers traditionally teach the same group of students (20-30 students) for the full day. Courses include: Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies. Teachers often have one (40-45 minute) break or “preparation period” during the day.  Students receive classes from a different teacher—Music, Art, Gym (sports), Drama, Chorus, etc. Teachers must have one lunch break (40-45 minute) during the day. Many teachers stay after school to participate in extracurricular activities for students or provide additional teaching time.
  14. 14. +Case Study: Typical Day of American Primary School Student School begins in early September through the end of June. Most students arrive to school by a big yellow school bus. Students generally attend all classes in the same classroom with the same group of [diverse] students. Students are taught strategies of working independently, in groups and in partners during the school day. Students usually have “recess” during the school day and often spend time on a playground with their friends. Being sent to the “principals office” is seen as a major punishment. Elementary school students are sent home with 30 minutes to 1 ½ hours of homework each night (depending on grade level). Extracurricular activities are popular for older elementary school
  15. 15. +American Secondary Schools: Middle School Middle School include the grade levels intermediate between elementary school and senior high school. "Middle school" usually includes seventh and eighth grades "Junior high" typically includes seventh through ninth grade. At this time, students are given more independence:  Having different teachers for each subjects.  Taking on more independent homework assignments and projects.  Moving to different classrooms for different subjects  being allowed to choose some of their class subjects (electives).
  16. 16. + Images of an American Middle School…
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  18. 18. +American Secondary Schools: Senior High School Senior High School is a school attended after middle school/ junior high school. The term “High school” is often used instead of senior high school High school usually runs either from 9th through 12th grade. The students in these grades are commonly referred to as:  freshmen (grade 9)  sophomores (grade 10)  juniors (grade 11)  seniors (grade 12). students take a broad variety of classes without special emphasis in any particular subject
  19. 19. + Images of an American High School
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  21. 21. +High School Curriculum  Students take a broad variety of classes without special emphasis in any particular subject.  Curricula vary widely in quality and rigidity  Some states consider 65 (on a 100-point scale) a passing grade, while others consider it to be as low as 60 or as high as 75.  Mandatory subjects are required in nearly all U.S. high schools:  Science (3 years of biology, chemistry and physics)  Mathematics (4 years of algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, statistics, and calculus)  English (4 years of literature, humanities, composition, etc.)  Social sciences (3 years world and U.S. history, gov./economics)  Physical education (4 years)  Many states require a "health" course (anatomy, first aid, sexuality, birth control)
  22. 22. + Students Choice: Elective Classes  Computers:  Word processing, programming, graphic design…  Career and Technical Training:  Business Marketing, health occupations, technology education, publishing, journalism, public speaking, creative writing, poetry…  Performing Arts/Visual Arts:  Choir, band, orchestra, drama, art, ceramics, photography, dance…  Foreign Languages:  Spanish/French most common…  Advanced Placement Courses (AP): College Credit Courses  Sciences, History, Economics, Art, Etc…
  23. 23. +Extracurricular Activities in American Schools  A major characteristic of American schools is the high priority given to sports, clubs and activities by the community, the parents, the schools and the students themselves.  Extracurricular activities are educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum but under the supervision of the school.  These activities can extend to large amounts of time outside the normal school day and include:  Sports Programs—Football, Basketball, Soccer, Swimming, Wrestling, Cheerleading, Rowing, Dance, etc.  Performing Arts—orchestra bands, jazz bands, marching bands, choirs, school plays/drama clubs/musicals  Debate teams, Student Government, Public Awareness Organizations, Various Clubs (Poetry Club, Photography Club, etc.)
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  25. 25. + Social Life and School Related Activities  A major characteristic of American schools is the rich social events that are planned and organized by the high schools.  Formal Dances  Yearly Semiformal Dances  Junior Prom  Senior Prom/Senior Ball  Homecoming Day and Parade  Organized Parade  Homecoming King and Queen elected by students  Celebration at the school  Sports Activities and related social events  Football games  Bonfires and Rallys  Graduation Celebrations
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  27. 27. + Study: Typical Day of American High SchoolCase Teacher A typical teacher works 8 hours, 5 days a week, at the same school. [September-June]  Federal Holidays and Summer Vacations off from work. High school teachers teach the same subject to:  6 groups of students (45-50 minute classes) each day OR  3 groups of students (90 minutes) every other day Teaching specialty depends on teaching degree Teachers often have one “preparation period” (45 minutes) during the day. Teachers must have one lunch break (40-45 minute) during the day. Many teachers stay after school to participate in extracurricular activities for students or provide additional teaching time.
  28. 28. Case Study: Typical Day of American High School+ Student School begins in early September through the end of June Some student arrive to school by school bus; many others drive. Students attend 4-8 classes each school day. Students must remain at school for the entire day—leaving for lunch is not allowed. Students are taught strategies of working independently, in groups and in partners during the school day. Students usually have “study hall” during the school day and to prepare for classes, study for exams or meet with teachers. High school students are sent home with 2 to 3 hours of homework each night (depending on grade/skill level). Many students stay after school to participate in sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities.
  29. 29. + Alternative forms of Education Home schooling  In 2007, approximately 1.5 million children were home ] schooled: 2.9% of all children.  Often associated with religious groups. Private Schools/Private Academies  Funded solely by student tuition.  Offer more specialized courses. Parochial School  Run by church organizations.  Funded by student tuition and petitioner contributions. Charter School  Funded by both private funds and public funds.  Stricter control over enrollment—controversial.
  30. 30. + Modern Social Issues in American EducationEducational issues in the United States center on curriculum, funding, and control. Funding  U.S. is tied for first place with Switzerland for annual spending per student: two countries spending more than $11,000 USD  U.S. public schools lag behind the schools of other developed countries in the areas of reading, math, and science.  No Child Left Behind Act– George W. Bush : Gives government the right to withhold funding if it believes a school, district, or even a state is improving standardized test scores. Tracking  Dividing students into learning groups based on classifications of “above average”, “average” or “below average”  Separating ESL students and Special Education students from mainstream classrooms.
  31. 31. + Modern Social Issues in American Education English in the Classroom  Questions on how to best accommodate for non-English speaking students and parent interest in foreign language instruction.  ESL programs vs. Bilingual programs  Dual Language Programs Nationwide Education Content and Education Quality  Different content, grade systems and quality across the nation  Textbook Review and Adoption  Evolution in Kansas Violence and Drug Use  Preventing violence and drug abuse in schools  Education regarding violence, sex and drug abuse
  32. 32. + Questions or Comments? Please ask me any questions about today’s lecture topic, my personal background or any other question you might have.Contact Information Danielle Marie Montagne  Email:  Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions, assistance or guidance you need in any class.