As students, a lot of us have often engaged in the argument that the education system requires several changes. In fact, there have been numerous debates and discussions on how the national education system can be changed for better. But do you know that the education system that exists in the US is not universal? In fact, there are a number of education systems across the world that differ from the one in the US.
If you are considering studying abroad, you need to be aware of the different types of education systems that exist on the planet. The education systems that we are going to discuss in this blog follow different curriculum structures. However, before we discuss those types of education systems, let’s talk about the various categorization of the education system based on the setting of student education.
Different Settings of Education Systems
It is important to understand that education is not limited to the specific types of curriculum structure. There are several types of education systems based on formal and informal settings. Based on the settings of the learning, the education systems can be categorized into the following types:
1. Formal education:
A majority of us are familiar with the formal education system. Whether it is a public school or private school – as long as there is a systematic way of education where students need to attend the school or university regularly – you can put it under the umbrella of the formal education system. Here, the students receive regular training from teachers who are qualified and licensed to teach the students.
The schools around the world may have some different formal education systems (which we will discuss later in the blog). However, a majority of the schools follow the K-12 program like the ones in the US. In such a system, a student starts his/her education at kindergarten at the age of six and then makes their way through years of education until they get to 12th grade by the age of 18.
Formal education also encompasses undergraduate and post-graduate studies as long as they follow the systems set by the governing bodies for the country’s education system. A majority of the students in the world are a part of the formal education system. Here you get essays and assignments to do and improve your skills as an academic paper writer.
2. Informal education:
Informal education is the type of education system where children learn outside the classroom. Interestingly, a child in a regular formal education system can also have an informal education. For example, you can attend regular classes in school and can also have after-school programs such as attending a club for extracurricular activities or perhaps spots where you learn other skills.
Informal education can also refer to even the learning a student receives from the parent. Any skill that you learn outside the classroom can be recognized as informal education. Homeschooling is also an informal education. In the US, some states have separate laws and regulations for homeschooling as well.
3. Non-formal education:
Normal-formal education is an amalgamation of formal and informal education. In such education systems, there is a form of structured learning. However, there is no approved curriculum or certification associated with formal learning.
Sports program, swimming lessons, seminars, etc. fall under this type of education system. Such learning aims to improve skills and offers benefits to both formal and informal education of the student.
4. Special education:
You must have heard about this education system earlier. Special education offers classes for students who need special education and may not be able to cope with the standards of traditional formal education.
Contrary to what most people believe, special education is not limited to children with developmental disabilities. It also caters to children with conditions such as ADHD, physical disabilities, dyslexia and other conditions which may keep them from learning in a regular classroom setting.
The education systems in most countries are generally categorized into these types based on the setting. However, formal education in different countries follows the different structure of the curriculum.
The Education Systems in Different Countries
If you are considering moving to another country for higher studies, you do need to consider the different education systems offered in the particular country. As mentioned before, there are several education systems which do not follow the same education structure as the school and colleges do in the US. Here are some of the different education systems in the world.
1. The UK:
The secondary education system in the UK is different than the ones you find in other countries. At the age of 16, the students in the UK need to take the exams for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). Students can then choose the kind of education they would like to pursue in the following years. While some choose A-level qualifications leading to admission at the universities such as Cambridge and Oxford, some prefer to pursue vocation courses or work-based apprenticeships.
2. The US:
For the readers from outside the US, the education system in this country tries to prepare the students for the competition. This is why the system not only pushes the students to improve their GPA (grade point average) but also offers Advanced Placement (AP) programs to provide college-level classes to high school students. Some universities even grant course credit to students who have done AP classes during admission.
Australia is another favorite destination for international students for their higher studies. Since the climate in Australia is quite different than that of the US and the UK, the curriculum at the Australian schools and college are different than its American or British counterparts. For instance, the summer occurs from December to February in Australia. So, the summer break stars from mid-December to late January. Also, the school year is divided into four terms – each lasting 9-11 weeks. They also have two weeks of vacation between each term.
While the academic year in the US and Australia is divided into semesters or quarters, the academic structure in Spain prefers a trimester approach. Here, the students enjoy a long summer break of nearly three months. Another good thing about Spain’s education system is that the children aged between 6 and 16 years get free education from the government. Also, elementary and middle school education in Spain is compulsory in the country.
Schools in China are more competitive than the ones in other countries. The children in the country typically begin their formal education at the age of two and learn to recognize 400 Chinese characters by the first semester of their first grade. Also, they need to pursue extracurricular activities and receive additional lessons from tutors.
This Nordic country is a lot different than other countries in terms of its education system. To provide equal opportunities to every student, the schools don’t separate the students into different classes based on ability and receive education from the same bank of highly-educated teachers. Also, to avoid comparing students against one another, the schools in Finland does not conduct any mandated tests, except for the final exam at the end of the year of high school.
It is quite evident that there are plenty of different education systems in the world. And while a majority of the countries follow the K-12 education system such as the American schools, there are plenty of exceptions as well.
Also, there are different learning settings apart from formal education. So, if you choose to travel abroad for higher studies, it is recommended to learn a bit about the education system of a particular country. Good luck!