How the World Learns: Comparative Educational Systems

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Seeing what education looks like in other countries and contexts - how the model America innovated has been adapted and implemented elsewhere - helps us understand how other systems create success. In each of these 24 thought-provoking lectures, you'll engage in a detailed comparison of teaching methods and student achievement in both primary and secondary schools, from the focus on STEM instruction and the intent of morals education to the role of preschool and the importance of creativity. You'll discover why Finland and South Korea consistently rank as the two best educational systems despite having diametrically opposed approaches, and consider the unique cultural challenges facing schools from America to South Africa. As you embark on this educational odyssey around the world, you'll examine schools as close as Tulsa, Oklahoma and as far-flung as Ghana, Japan, and Myanmar. You may be surprised to learn that for all their differences, approaches to teaching don't vary as widely as one might expect. With Professor Wiseman's guidance, you'll use internationally comparative data to identify strengths and weaknesses and to see how this information is used - and sometimes misused - to enact policies that shape what happens in classrooms. Along the way, you'll contemplate a number of important questions about the goals of education and the ways teachers may help students reach them. Are teachers responsible for academic content only, or are they also caregivers and counselors? Which is more important: gaining knowledge or learning new skills? Is standardized testing the best way to measure what a person knows or is capable of? Is the point of school to prepare kids for college or for a job?