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dxs's avatar

Why is education compared among countries?

Asked by dxs (11520 points ) March 25th, 2014

I frequently see articles on how the USA is “lagging” in education compared to other countries such as South Korea. But this is according to a global standardized test, where USA is not on top. What’s the purpose in this comparison?
Here’s one article: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/us-teens-lag-global-education-rankings-asian-countries-rise-top-f2D11686930

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Because the colonies self-proclaim themselves to be the best at everything. This distorted self-image is pervasive among its “culture”, so anything that threatens to shatter this image is great news material.

longgone's avatar

Because most countries are constantly trying to find out how to improve their educational systems. That way, they can explain what wonderful changes they will make immediately…once they have the money.

zenvelo's avatar

Education is a real investment in the long term health of a nation’s economy. It’s called investment in Human Capital. That’s why it’s important that we keep pace with education in other countries.

Khajuria9's avatar

For mutual growth.

LostInParadise's avatar

What is really upsetting is that the U.S., with its misguided emphasis on standardized testing, does so poorly while Finland, with almost no standardized testing, consistently comes out near the top.

dxs's avatar

Don’t get me wrong everybody, I think education is really important! I’m an aspiring teacher. I just don’t see why there’s a big fuss over a standardized test score and why we even need to compare ourselves to other countries with this test.
@LostInParadise It interests me, however, when I looked at that article on Finland’s education system and how they do so well on this test. I have to look into that. It makes me wonder what the best method of educating is.
I currently tutor at a school as part of a program called Avid Tutoring. The whole thing is one big competition between each student. I wasn’t crazy about the idea, and even in my own classes, I always thought it was most fair to focus on the individual (me). For instance, one professor graded essays by comparing them with other students. Whichever group the professor thought did the best got the best grade, and whichever ones were not as good got lower grades. I thought that was crazy—education is about me and not how I compare to others!
[Addition]: I think Avid Tutoring may be approached differently in different classrooms. The description here makes the program seem a lot different than what I explained.

jerv's avatar

Without comparison, we have no idea how we’re really faring.

@LostInParadise Anything other countries do is wrong, so even if it works, we must do the opposite.

Brian1946's avatar

@jerv

“Anything other countries do is wrong, so even if it works, we must do the opposite.”

That kind of thinking (which I know you’re mocking and not espousing) could be the result of Amurica’s patriotic, love-it-or-leave-it edgakationull system.

RocketGuy's avatar

Changing things is a liberal, commie concept. Brainwashing kids, when reading, riting, and rithmatics + spankings is all they really need.

rojo's avatar

‘specially thu spankin part.

johnpowell's avatar

We teach the test. Fun fact here, I graduated high school and only wrote about five papers. There were a few essays that were few and far between. It was pretty much all multiple choice, even in math.

No real critical thinking or presenting an argument and being judged by the validity of my ideas.

Just remembering facts. I know Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939. No fucking clue why he did it.

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