1.- The aim of education in general is to develop the talents of both children and adults for their own benefit and that of society as a whole. It is a large investment in the future.
2.- The education systems in most English-speaking countries are similar to each other.
3.- The values and aims of these education systems have changed over the last five decades under the influence of the results of educational research and political influence. The previous emphasis on memorization of facts and theoretical knowledge has shifted towards analysis and interpretation. For example, a history essay may include dates and events, but a student would get higher marks for showing why the events happened, or why they were important.
4.- Creativity is also emphasized, especially in subjects such as English, where students are expected to write their own stories and other texts, without instruction about how to do it. The result was judged on the impression it made.
5.- Learning by doing is also encouraged – in science lessons, instead of being told what happens when one chemical is combined with another, students would first mix the chemicals and observe what happened, then compare the results with what was expected.
6.- In most subjects something is usually not learnt for its own sake. In languages for example, grammar is taught as a way to make communication clear. Exams focus on the application of knowledge. Therefore, for example, essays that give opinions are valued more than essays that simply describe facts.
7.- Methods also fit in with the aims of education. If the teacher simply gives facts which the students then learn, this is seen as a bad teaching strategy. Instead, good teaching is seen as setting up situations in which students find things out for themselves in an interesting and motivating way.
8.- Exams remain an important part of curricula in Australia, the UK and the USA, but the trend is towards continuous assessment, essays or practical sessions or larger projects that involve research or writing a report.
II. The School Education in Great Britain.
1.- Nursery school: 3 to 5, not compulsory, play activity.
2.- Compulsory education begins at the age of 5 or 4 (Northern Ireland). Until the age of 16. About 9 per cent - voluntarily until the age of 18.
3.- Two tiers – primary and secondary, or three tiers – first schools, middle schools and upper schools.
4.- Primary schools: 5 to 11. Secondary schools: 11 to 16 or 18. First schools: 5 to 11. Middle schools: 8 to 14. Upper schools: 14-18.
5.- Beyond the age of 16 - to be able to enter university: may transfer to a sixth-form college or to a tertiary college.
6.- National Curriculum sets out the subjects and the levels of achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16, when they are tested. Core subjects: English, mathematics and science (biology, chemistry, etc.), geography, history, technology and modern languages.
7.- Types of schools.
State schools: free, boys and girls, all day, Monday – Friday, September – July, three terms in a year.
Public schools: private, fee-paying, boarding, single-sex.
Comprehensive schools: state schools, children of all abilities, wide range of secondary education.
Grammar schools: at the age of 11 on the basis of abilities, to pass an exam, academic education.
Secondary modern schools: general education with a practical bias up to 16.
Technical schools: 11 to18, general academic education, emphasis on technical subjects.
Special needs schools: maintained by state, learning, developmental, medical and behavioral issues.
II. The School Education in the USA.
1.- Elementary education from 6 or 7 to 11 or 12. Exam to move to the next grade.
2.- Next period is divided between middle school and high school.
3.- Major public exams at age 16 or 18.
4.- These schools are comprehensive schools. The objectives of high schools are to provide general education for all students and some special subjects to those who will leave high school for employment or to enter colleges and universities.
5.- Core elementary subjects: English, Arithmetic, Geography, History of the USA, Natural sciences, Physical Training, Singing, Drawing, wood or metal work. High school subjects: science (biology, chemistry and physics), mathematics (algebra, geometry, algebra), English (literature, humanities), social science (history, economics), physical education. Additional: anatomy, first aid, sexuality, anti-drug.
6.- Types of schools.
Public schools: state, all students, may be single sex.
Charter schools: started by parents, teachers, community organizations.
Magnet schools: highly selective public schools, special programs, superior facilities, high academic standards.
Parochial schools: church-related.
Proprietary schools: private schools, are run for profit.
III The School Education in Russia.
1.- Pre-school, general school, specialized secondary and higher education.
2.- Pre-school: kindergartens. Reading, writing and arithmetic; isn’t compulsory.
3.- Compulsory education: from 6 or 7 to 17. This is the general school which prepares for life and work.
4.- Exams after 9th form.
5.- Choice: 10th grade or enrolling in a specialized trade or vocational school.
6.- Secondary education certificate gives the right to enter higher educational establishment.
4.- Types of schools: general secondary schools, schools specializing in a certain subject, high schools, lyceums, expensive private schools call themselves gymnasiums.
IV Issues of education.
1.- Problems in teaching and studying.
2.- Discipline. Lessons are boring and meaningless, hard to concentrate, hard to deal with the new learning environment. Paring off, may discourage children's natural imagination.
3.- More gifted and less gifted. It creates a class of privileged people who think to be superior to the others.
4.- Troublesome students. Vandalism takes place, brake windows and treat the staff with absolute scorn.
1.- General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE): at the age of 16, ability to apply their knowledge to solving practical problems, does not allow to enter university but to start work or do some vocational training.
2.- General Certificate of Education Advanced level (GCE A-level): at the age of 18, enables to widen their subject areas and move to higher education.
VI. Higher education in GB.
1.- 46 universities, they are private institutions. Fees and living costs. Personal grants.
2.- Undergraduates - students studying for first degree. New undergraduates – fresher.
3.- Students have lectures, there are regular seminars.
Bachelor’s degree: after 3 or 4 years, exams. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.
Master's degree: the first postgraduate degree. Master of Arts, Master of Science.
Doctor's degree: original research. Doctor of Philosophy.
Foundation degree: 2 years, for those students to take a first degree but wish to remain in employment.
5.- Oxford and Cambridge. Oldest English universities. Oxford and Cambridge are regarded as being academically superior to other universities and as giving special privilege and prestige. Oxbridge are highly selective universities. Those, who graduated from Eton College, enter Oxford or Cambridge without exams. There are only few differences between Oxford and Cambridge. In Oxford they pay more attention to liberal arts, while Cambridge pay more attention to natural and exact subjects.
6.- The six Red Bricks: Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol, Manchester. The division between Oxbridge and Redbricks is sharp. Many public school boys prefer no degree to a Redbrick degree. In England Redbrick has been separate from the beginning. When Oxford and Cambridge were exclusively Anglican, the new Victorian universities were built to provide a liberal education for the poorer boys, and to give technological training. They grew up outside the old aristocratic pattern.
VII. Higher education in the USA.
1.- Four undergraduate grades: freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years.
2.- Four categories of institution:
The university: several colleges, graduate schools.
The college: four-year undergraduate institution, not part of a university.
The technical training institution: from 6 months to 4 years, wide variety of technical skills.
Community college: two-year, then enter professions or go to four-year colleges or universities.
Bachelor's degree: 4 years. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.
Associate's degree: from community colleges. Associate of Arts and Associate of Science.
Master's degree: postgraduate. Master of: Arts, Science, Business Administration, Education, Fine Arts.
Doctor's degree: after additional years of study. Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Arts.
4.- Carefully advanced study and research is given chiefly at the following universities: California University, Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford, Cornell University and some others. Eight of the oldest universities make up so called Ivy League.
VIII. Higher education in Russia.
1.- Higher education was divided between universities and narrow specialization institutes.
2.- Specific-field institutes concentrated in Moscow and Saint Petersburg; medical and teachers' institutes were scattered across the territory.
3.- In 1990s the institutes renamed themselves universities, while retaining their narrow specialization.
4.- Traditional five-year model of education is replaced by the system with a two-tiered approach: a four-year bachelor's degree followed by a two-year master's degree.
5.- A specialist graduate needs no further academic qualification, except some branches of medical profession that required post-graduate residency stage.