The desire to see one’s children excel and succeed is a universal human constant. From small pacific islands, to New York City and back again across the globe, loving parents are sitting down, likely at this very moment, and fretting over how to best prepare their offspring for a thriving future. This week on the blog, we will take a look at how different folks from around the world handle the troubling and profound question: how do I give my kids the best education possible?
Education in China and Korea
China and Korea have an educational tradition that goes back for millennia. Based on Confucian practices revolving around a civil servant exam, these education systems are highly standardized in an attempt to give each individual in a dense and highly populated area the exact same chance to show his or her aptitude.
Students in these places have long school hours, sometimes attending class until late at night and over the weekend. While these kind of demanding curriculum place what is arguably a draconian amount of pressure on young people, the proof of its effectiveness is in the pudding. Both of these countries have had enormous rates of development and modernization over the past few decades, and much of this is thought to be due to their highly educated population.
Education in the Netherlands
Studies show that children who start school a bit later (4-5) tend to do a little bit better facing the demands and pressures of the classroom, which leads to better academic outcomes all around. Well, leave it to the Dutch to take a good idea and run with it. Kids in the Netherlands tend to have an extended amount of time to stay at home and develop with Mom and Dad before they are thrust into the public school system. No surprise that Dutch children seem to arrive at school with a bit more maturity and confidence.
Education in Japan
Japan is no stranger to cool and interesting schools of philosophical thought– and their school system is no different. When it comes to Japanese academics, there is often a heavy focus on morality, ethics, and doing right by one’s community. Kids in Japanese schools are responsible for doing the cleaning in their classrooms, teaching them a sense of responsibility and pride. This is a pretty cool approach, and as any visitor to Japan comes to learn, the Land of the Rising Son has one of the lowest rates of crime in the world. Could a nationwide sense of morality be the cause? Experts haven’t necessarily proven this through research, but we can totally see the connection.
Different Paths Leading To The Same Goal
There is a lot to learn from watching the way diverse people all take different approaches to accomplishing the same goal. Whether in a developing educational system in Africa or a highly-regarded one like in Finland, we all do the best we can to see the kids in our kids are able to develop and flourish. If there is one thing that unites us all as humans, it is by far our love for our children.