US Education System: Junior and High School - What and How Do They Teach? Part 1


    A few years ago, a conversation arose with a sixth-grade son about Russian yard sayings and puzzles.
    For starters, I took a classic courtyard counter:

    A and B sat on the pipe
    A fell, B disappeared
    Who stayed on the pipe?

    The son thought for a while and then quickly solved it. I was wounded in the best feelings of the Russian domestic slang decided to complicate and asked to translate into English. Savva (this is the name of his son) without hesitation issued the following:

    AN 'B were on a tree.
    A fell down, so did B.
    Who is left on the tree?

    The result stunned me somewhat, after which I decided to make these notes on the general education system (a very good school) in the USA.

    Elementary school from grade 0 to 6

    I will say thesis that all schools in the USA are quite different, so I won’t describe how-and-that, I’ll tell you what is interesting in my opinion in the elementary school where Savva was unlearned.

    In my opinion, mathematics, the school pays little attention to mathematics, the program in mathematics is comparable to Russian, but the number of hours is clearly less and the children are trying to teach a little different ... I would say a clearly expressed humanitarian bias.

    In the second grade, children are explained the concept of writing a literary work in such a way that at the end of the second grade the child already has a finished book. The approach is rather sketchy at the level of diagrams with questions such as who is the main character, who is the negative character, what is the plot of the plot, where is the conflict and how is the conflict resolved in the final piece. In general, everything is adult, for a man of seven years of age, in my opinion, is quite nontrivial, but as the result shows, it is real.

    Here is the final battle scene from the savannah book:


    The third class already plunged not only me into a rash, but also the wife of a linguist with two higher educations. The child brought a lot from school, and a book of poems. In general, the teacher in the third grade made an attempt, in my opinion, successful - to explain the technique of writing poetry. Here are some of the verses that, as you can see, the technique is not limited to the well-known "iambic and trochee":

    Red food.

    Inside watermelon, chery, strawberries-
    Gives me the feeling I want to eat.

    The Shopper

    I went to a store
    To buy a toy boar
    I stopped on my way
    To gaze at the bay

    An Arrested

    He was a pest
    And was under arrest

    The Ebola

    Scary, tiny
    Cutting, dividing twisting
    Alive, deadly, and dangerous

    The Mouse's House

    One there was a little gray mouse
    That lived in a little gray house
    She had a long rake
    And was safe from the snake
    In her house, there was never a louse.

    High School Grades 6 to 8

    The first year at a meeting of parents, a teacher of English and literature of 40+ years old said that she would learn how to write blogs. In my opinion, today the skill is quite exotic, especially since it’s too early to teach twelve-year-old children. But, so to speak, this is the United States. It is said and done.

    In the third month of intensive training, Sava's son drove up with a short story to ask my opinion. Personally, I just went nuts, not even in the sense that in terms of the English language I have already lagged behind my children for a long time, but how the story is written, what kind of rebound should there be in a twelve-year-old head to sketch this during the lesson ?!

    Moreover, fulfilling his promise, the teacher specifically forces students to read all the stories and choose the best of the class or classes. Those. children are already writing so that it is interesting to read to their classmates, and so that the story falls into the class rating.

    Pretty entertaining, whatever one may say, and the son is now with genuine enthusiasm going to school in English. Here is the story that my brain endured:

    “The Epic Battle of Himmelsdorf”

    During a dark night of World War Two, in Himmelsdorf, an abandoned German city, a team of fifteen tanks wait. Then they split up, heading in different directions. Four of them go to the left, to a railway station, where several deactivated trains lie. Two of them decide to travel along the railway, under the protection of the trains, while two others, a T29, a heavy, and an M36 Slugger, a tank destroyer, lie in ambush behind the ticket office. Suddenly, a pair of enemy medium tanks appear on the radar, behind a building. The T29 comes out of the left, and the M36 out of the right, and together they fire at the enemy, who shoot at the heavy, not noticing the destroyer, then retreat behind the building to reload, and pop back out. The process repeats itself several times, until the M36 decides to go to the left side to get clearer shots and rolls over to the left side of the structure. It slowly comes out and BOOM! In the place of the tank destroyer stood a smoking metal carcass, spitting out sparks from what used to be an engine. The T29 came out of hiding, and a missile from one of the hostiles hit its track, destroying it. While the crew attempted to repair it, the heavy was pounded by half a dozen shells, most of which penetrated the armor, though some bounced off the thick plating. During the “massacre”, the T29 shot a few rounds of its own, and by the time the tracks were repaired, one of the foes, an M60 Patton, was a smoking wreck. When the track was fixed, the heavily damaged tank retreated behind the office. Next time it popped out, a missile hit it and it was destroyed.

    A menu popped out afterwards. The mouse rolled over the “Exit Battle”, clicks on it, and the scene changes to a hanger, where three tanks stand, and one spot is empty, except for the word “Tank in Battle”. The mouse clicks on the SU-85B and clicks “Battle”.

    Course debate

    In the 7th and 8th grade it was possible to choose a special debate course. We need to talk about the debate separately. The topics are fairly well-known, for example, "Death Penalty." It is necessary to prepare both for and against. A team of 3 people in each - the first one performs for five minutes, building an evidence base why for or against - depending on the lot. The second also performs for five minutes, consolidating the team evidence base and also starting to introduce counterarguments why the opposing team is not right. And the last, third member of the team for three minutes exclusively deals with the fact that it debunks the evidence base of the opposing team.

    The essential point of the debate is that until the last moment the teams do not know what they will stand for - “for” or “against”.

    Mathematical competitions and technical circles

    Although the school curriculum is not as intense as we would like in the technical fields, the abundance of serious circles and competitions in the areas of robotics and mathematics is impressive.

    It was also remembered that ice cream was prepared at science lessons and how to prepare a cow eye, each student was given an eye in a container and supposedly cut a scalpel ...

    In general, I would say that education in the USA is undeniably different and what level - it is entirely possible to judge by the results of children and assignments that teachers are trying to give in their classes.

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