Monday, December 5, 2011

From across the globe

As I sit day after day in sociology class, I realize how everything around me is derived from knowledge and understanding. The topic we zoomed in to this week was education. The focus was on the European Union, and how it functions in the world today. Education is a big word, or should I say, a big world. We follow complex systems and curriculums each and every day.

Schools are used as formal education. There is a set curriculum to be followed. My old school, for example, followed a British system, where the students in grades 9 to 12 or 13 took external examinations such as IGCSE’s or AS or even IB. These examinations allowed the students not only to experience the diversity of other cultures such as that of Britain, but also to see what is being schooled to children half way across the globe from them.

The child in a school like this is not only taught how to diversify his/her ideas, but also learn the culture of another country. This is what we call a ‘hidden curriculum’ where a child receives skills or benefits beyond the knowledge in the content of a book. Life skills, something such as being taught that ‘sharing is caring’ and ‘to stand out, is to excel’ is something that is not directly written in a book, but is conveyed within the classrooms.

Nowadays, schools have integrated a class titled ‘PSHE’ which stands for Personal, Social and Health Education. This class teaches children to take care of their health and balance their diets. Not only that, it helps them organize their thoughts and time in effective ways. It had become such an essential part of the core school curriculum that if a student did not take it, they simply could not pass to the next class.

The only problem with such educations and in private arenas is that it costs much more to send a child to an international school with a British system, than to place that child in a government school.

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