Education Around the World- Russia



Once again, I have not actually visited Russia, but I have always been fascinated by their history and architecture.  Students are rehired at attend school ages 6-17.  Schools decide on the curriculum that the students learn; the curriculum is based on each state standards.  There are three parts to their education system.  The first part is primary school, which lasts four years.  After primary school, students attend some basic general educate; this lasts for five years.  When the students have completed primary school and basic general education, they take State final examinations, which they must pass.  Then they will receive a Attestat ob Sredem Obshchem Obrazovanii. This certificate will allow them to attend further school.  This secondary education can last two to three years.  They can choose between two different types of secondary education, vocational or university bound.  There is no uniform test administered to all students before they enter college.  Colleges administer their own assessment due to differences in grading and curriculum.

After discussing this separation of students between vocational and university with a friend, I have begun to wonder if the rest of the world views this as equal.  Is this their form of differentiation?


Education Around the World-China



Chinese Ministry of Education

Today, I am going to discuss the education system in China. Though, I have not been to China; I am going to discuss the results of my research.  I chose China because as a student at LSU we were highly concerned about what they were doing in the Chinese classrooms.  China has the largest education system in the world. Students are required to attend nine years of school.  The students ages 6-11 attend a primary school, which is located in the neighborhood or village.  Sources vary on the number of days students attend primary school.  At most some sources say, six days a week. At the least, some sources say five days a week.  Some sources say their school lasts 7-4 as opposed to our 830-330, but once again there is no consensus.  Students take the usual subjects; in addition to this, they learn about their country and the main political party.  After primary school, students attend middle school for ages 12-14.  Not a lot is mentioned on this part of their school system.  After age 14, school is no longer compulsory.  Students can attend three years of high school, which will lead to a university.  OR they can switch to a vocational high school.  There is an application process to go into the traditional high school.

I am starting to wonder if we are the only country who provides all students ages 6-18 with the same education.  It isn’t even a European country this time, yet the students are split into groups of those that can go to college and those that are going to vocational school.  I was taught to believe that all children deserved an equal education.  Maybe the rest of the world doesn’t believe this. If not, what do they believe about education? Why do they set it up the way they do?

Education Around the World- Italy


I am going to try really hard for this to be my last post on a European education system.  After which I am going to break my promise and discuss the education system of countries I haven’t visited just to add some variety.  Unfortunately so far in my life, I have only been to European countries. I guess I can’t move on till I have seen it all.

Today I will be discussing Italy. I went to Italy as a part of my senior trip. I want to go back and see Rome, but I haven’t gotten a chance yet.


Feeding the birds in Venice.

In Italy, children ages 6-11 go to Scuola Primaria, which is primary school.  After age 11, students go to Scuola Secondaria di Primo Grado, which is middle school.  In order to graduate from middle school, the students must take a written and oral exams.  After the students graduate, they attend Scuola Secondaria di Secondo Grado, which is our high school.  The first two years are similar for all students.  After the first two years, the students choose a course of student that lasts five years.  Here are the specialized courses offered:

Liceo Classico (Classical High School)

Liceo Scientifico (Scientific High School)

Liceo Artistico (Fine Arts High School)

Istituto Magistrale (Teacher Training School)
Istituto d’Arte (Artistic Schools)
Istituti Tecnici (Technical Institutes)
Istituti Professionali (Professional Institutes)

Once again in order to pass, the students must 3 exams (written and oral).  One of which is completed in front of a board of teachers.  All students can go to a university if they have completed the five years of specialized courses and passed all of their exams.

I am seeing a trend in the European education systems.  They all seem to have some sort of specialization or differeniation for their students.  Unlike Germany and Spain, the specialized courses don’t limit them from going to college.  Also the idea of taking oral exams and speaking in front of a board of teachers is kind of scary to me even having been through a graduate program.

Education Around the World-Spain



A beach in Spain.

Last summer I traveled to Spain.  Spanish culture and way of life can be contrasted to United State’s. Through my travels I found that the Spanish people take time to enjoy day to day life.  Some take Siestas in the middle of the day as a sort of break.  Of course, then they work later.  Even the students take a break in the middle of their school day.  Imagine a 1-2 hour break.  The students’ brains would come back refreshed and ready to learn.  I would be a better teacher too.  This sounds great in theory, but who knows how it would work out in actuality. When learning about Spain’s education system, I found once again a system in which the students must decide early on if they will attend college or vocational school.  Now this decision is not made till 16 years of age, which is later than Britian’s.

Students attend a primary school called colegio ages 6- 12.  After primary school, the students attend a Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) which is ages 12-16.  After the student graduates, they have three different choices:

  1.  Spanish Baccalaureate ( Bachillerato )
  2. Vocational/Professional training
  3. Find a job

At Bachillerato, the students complete traditional high school classes, and then they chose one out of four concentration options:

  1. Art, Image, and Design
  2. Performing Arts, Music, and Dance
  3. Science and Technology
  4. Humanities and Social Sciences

After Bachillerato, they may attend a university if they pass the test.

Once again, students must decide early on if they are to attend college or not.  At least in Spain, the students are older.  Thus making them better able to make a decision.  I think it is interesting that in their high school the students choose a concentration.  I guess in the USA we sort of do this with our electives, but our electives do not have to relate.  I wonder if this is a trend I will see with all European countries- varying the education a child receives based on if they are going to college or not.  Is the US the only country that allows all children to receive the same education? Do we have it right, or are we backwards?

Education Around the World- Germany


Ever since my travels in 2009, I have been interested in how other countries choose to educate their children.  That year concedes with a study abroad program I did to Germany. The study abroad program was mostly lectures and tours.  It was a unique experience to learn about German culture and World War 2 while walking around famous cities in Germany and Austria.  The lecturing part I didn’t agree with, but the professor did inform us about how the system of education is different in Germany.


A picture of the students and teachers I traveled with. 


Over the next couple of weeks, I will share what I have learned about the different systems of education from my travels abroad.  I think it is interesting to see how they schedule their school day, what subjects the students learn, or how the structure the schools in general.  I will start with Germany. For Germany, I will mainly focus on how they structure their schools.  


The education system in Germany is state based.  I would imagine that this means that the states’ education systems differ more than our US state education systems, but I could be wrong.  Regardless, all children attend a similar type of schooling ages 6- 10 or 11, which is primary school (for US americans).  After that, the type of education differs greatly for secondary school.  The way it was explained to me was that the parents, teachers and child sit and discuss what sort of future the child is to have.  This will determine the type of school the child goes to later in life:

1.vocational school

2. business or technical  school

3. university

There are three different types of secondary schools that educate its students for one of these paths:

1. Hauptschule- prepares students for vocational school

2. Realschule- prepares students for technical school

3. Gymnasium- prepares students for college 

As a teacher, it seems a very daunting task trying to decide the rest of a child’s life at the age of 10 or 11. I teach this age; I can sort of tell which ones will make it through a university.  The problem is that children can surprise you.  They can meet your expectations, raise above them, or not meet them.  My professor explained the logic behind this as that the children are learning skills and subjects that will better serve them in the future.  Not learning trigonometry when they will be going to trade school. This is so different than the US where everyone has the opportunity to go to a university if they want to.  This is the big push now with Common Core, but I hear teachers say all the time college isn’t meant for everyone.  Another complaint I hear is that everyone going to college raises the standards for a job.  A job that used to require a undergraduate degree now requires a masters.  I am not trying to pass judgement on Germany’s education system.  I am merely presenting what I think it interesting. No education system is perfect including ours.  


Me in Germany. 


My first post


I chose to make my blog about my two favorite things: teaching and traveling.  I love to travel to new parts of the world, so I can learn about their culture, history, food, and life style. I have mainly traveled to Europe, but I would like to travel to other parts of the world once I have gotten my fill of Europe. I travel with both family and friends. I am not into those relaxing vacations; I am one of those people that likes to constantly be on the go. I like to bring back the things I have learned to the classroom.  I want my students to think about the bigger world, to be exposed to different ways of life, and to think how their actions can impact the world. I hope that this prepares them for an interconnected world in which the USA can’t just do what is best for itself.  My students often comment that I have been everywhere. They also think I am really rich because I have been so many places. HA!!! I want to tell them that teachers don’t make that much money.

Me in Spain last Summer:Image