Inside the American Education System: Everything You Need to Know

Inside the American Education System: Everything You Need to Know

Before moving to America, many people ask themselves: how will I go with my children, how will they study there? It's time to find out how the American education system works. Have you ever wondered what makes it different from other educational systems in the world? In this article, we will go on a journey through the American education system, revealing all the information you need.

The intricacies of the US school education system

If you are a parent or just want to learn about different education systems, this information is for you.

Preschool education in the States Inside the American Education System: Everything You Need to KnowInside the American Education System: Everything You Need to Knowphoto:

Preschool education is the first level of education, Designed for children from birth to five years. It includes educational activities and games that help build basic skills and prepare the child for primary school.

Little children in America do not go to public kindergartens: they simply don’t exist here. Instead, they can attend private ones and spend time at home with their parents or nanny. Education in the USA begins with grade zero, which is called "kindergarten" (kindergarten), and not from first grade. At the age of 3 to 4 years, children attend preschool, and from the age of 5 they go to kindergarten or kindergarten.

Early childhood education in the United States includes a wide range of activities and methods aimed at developing children from birth to about 5 or 6 years of age. It is aimed at ensuring the comprehensive development of the child and preparing him for successful adaptation in primary school.

Preschool programs promote the development of social skills, including the ability to interact with other children and adults, resolve conflicts, cooperate and develop empathy. Children are given the opportunity to understand and manage their emotions, develop a sense of self-esteem, confidence and a positive attitude towards themselves.

Programs stimulate children's intellectual development, including the development of creative thinking, logical thinking, problem solving abilities and the development of basic reading skills , writing and mathematics. Children are given the opportunity to develop motor skills, coordination and general physical activity through games, sports and exercise.

The programs promote the development of language skills, including the development of vocabulary, grammatical structure, listening and speaking skills. Preschool education actively uses play as the main way of learning. Children play role-playing games, design, draw, create and experiment, which promotes the development of creative thinking and imagination.

Children are given opportunities to explore the world through their senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. An important goal of preschool education is to prepare children for school, including introducing basic concepts, reading, writing and mathematics skills, as well as developing independence and concentration skills.

Schools and preschools actively involve parents in the educational process by providing them information about the child's progress and cooperating with them in ensuring optimal development conditions. Recognizing the diversity of children's needs and abilities, preschool programs strive to create individualized approaches to learning that take into account the characteristics of each child.

The overall goal of early childhood education in the United States is to prepare children for success in elementary school and to ensure that they grow and develop in all important areas of their lives.

Elementary Education in the United States Inside the American Education System: Everything You Need to KnowInside the American Education System: Everything You Need to KnowPhoto:

A primary school, also known as an elementary school, provides education to children aged 6 to 11 years. At this level, children learn core subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies. They can also choose several elective subjects to further develop their interests.

Primary school classrooms are divided into different learning areas. Students can work at round tables in groups of 5-6 people, on the carpet near shelves with books, or at computers, of which there are usually several in the classroom. The teacher gives tasks, and the children work on them independently. At the same time, they are allowed to move freely around the classroom.

In American high schools, each subject has its own teacher, and students are given some freedom to choose subjects. Required subjects remain mathematics, English, natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy), history, physical education and creative activities. Students also have the opportunity to choose 1-2 additional subjects on their own, most often computer technology, cooking, a foreign language or art.

By the way, in America individualism is highly encouraged: children always sit on single desks. But at the same time, they place a great emphasis on teamwork: constant group assignments, joint extracurricular projects and meetings. And here there is something that is radically different from the training system we are used to: it is not based on clear facts, as it was with us: the chronology of history, sequence, only one way and no other way. They guide students to reach the truth themselves, make their own creative decisions and create something radically new, without placing any clear emphasis on the old.

And the concept "classmates" in American schools is not the same as in Russia. You can study in the same class with classmates in biology, and at the same time study mathematics with completely different ones. In addition, students are given the opportunity to choose a more complex program in a certain subject, for which they need to achieve an excellent annual grade.

High school in America Inside the American Education System: Everything You Need to KnowInside the American Education System: Everything You Need to Knowphoto:

In American high schools, students have greater freedom to choose subjects. Required — mathematics (2 years), English (4 years), natural sciences (2 years with laboratory work), social sciences (3 years), physical education (1 year) and art course (1 year).

By the way, in American schools they don’t overwhelm you with homework, as they are used to doing in Russian schools. Here, there is a built-in hour in the school schedule where students can dedicate their time to this, and after school it takes them about an hour or an hour and a half to do what's left. Convenient!

Beginning in the 9th grade, students can choose subjects in the Advanced Placement (AP) program. There are about 38 additional sciences to choose from in 5 areas: industrial, agricultural, commercial, general and academic.

Grading system and knowledge testing in the United States

And the most interesting thing is the grading system in American schools: A (excellent), B (good), C (satisfactory), D (poor), F (unsatisfactory, fail). At the same time, you have probably seen in films how the teacher distributes work specifically to each student. The thing is that in America, like ours, it is not customary to announce test results to the whole class.

Each grade is confidential information for a specific student and his parents. And competitions of this kind between students are not held there. Only relevant, perhaps, for small towns.

Testing and assessment in U.S. schools are essential to determining student success, assessing the effectiveness of educational programs, and ensuring quality education. Testing systems may vary from state to state and from school to school, but there are general principles. The United States uses different types of tests and assessment methods, including:

  • Standardized tests: These tests have common standards across the country and allow students to compare performance across states. Examples of such tests are the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) and ACT (American College Testing), which are often used for admission to colleges and universities.
  • State Tests: Different states may have their own state tests based on that state's educational standards. These tests assess knowledge and skills in various subjects and levels of education.
  • Formative assessments: These are assessments that take place throughout the school year and aim to monitor students' progress. This may include classwork, projects, oral responses, and other forms of activity.
  • Summative Assessments: These are assessments taken at the end of a school period or year to determine students' knowledge and performance. These may include final exams, assignments and tests.
  • Portfolio: Some schools use a portfolio assessment method in which the student collects their work, projects and achievements to demonstrate their learning and development.
  • Teacher Assessment: Teachers can also assess student learning in lessons and in the classroom. This may include oral responses, tests, discussions and other forms of interaction.

It is important to note that approaches to testing and assessment may vary depending on the level of education (elementary, middle, high school ) and local educational policies. Overall, the purpose of assessment is not only to evaluate, but also to provide information about learning levels in order to tailor teaching methods and support the development of each student.

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