Contents General introduction Early childhood education Primary and secondary schools Higher education Supplementary information
Americans are proud of the fact that the window of knowledge is never slammed shut for any of the nation’s citizens. Children are allowed to attend classes with kids of various races, schools have equal opportunities for both males and females, and for children with disabilities or handicaps. Now each and every student can get an equal chance to be educated. General Introduction
American public schools have four basic characteristics in common: they are locally controlled, free from religious influence, coeducational, and publicly supported by taxes.
Early Childhood Education In most areas, free public school education begins with kindergarten classes for five-year-olds. Some public school systems also offer pre- kindergarten programs for four-year-olds. Some are introduced to the classroom situation at a much younger age, either through nursery schools or day care centers. Some communities have pre-and post-school programs for school-age children whose mothers leave for work before school begins and come home after school lets out.
Kindergarten half-day sessions the child becomes accustomed to being separated from Mommy, playing and sharing with other children, and following the directions of a teacher also introduced to skills and information that will help him later with academic work
Nursery school ( 幼儿园 ) Nursery schools accept children form three to five years old half-day sessions ranging from twice a week to five days a week. well-equipped classroom(dolls, toy furniture, building blocks, books, etc.) and playground Nursery schools usually charge tuition, though some are subsidized and some offer scholarships.
Day care ( 日托 )center Day care centers provide care for pre-school children of working mothers who need a place to leave their children all day, five days a week. Some day care centers accept pre-schoolers from infancy on. Day care has been maligned by those who believe that children belong with their mothers and that a woman’s place is in the home.
The Women’s Liberation movement has widely publicized the idea that free, high-quality day care is essential if women are to participate fully in society. Existing day care centers are operated and funded by many different organizations. Some are profit-making facilities supported by tuition fees. Others are non-profit centers run by philanthropic, religious, governmental, or industrial sponsors.
Primary and Secondary Schools In the United States, classes of students are divided into twelve academic levels called grades. One academic year is required to complete each grade. The child enters the first grade, at about age six, to do some academic work (learning to read, write, and do arithmetic)
Primary and Secondary Schools The first academic institution that a child attends is called grammar school or elementary school. In some school systems, elementary school includes grades one through eight. The next four years are called high school. In other school systems, there are three divisions: elementary school (grades one through six), junior high school (grades seven through nine), and senior high school (grades ten through twelve).
Grammar school (elementary school) Subjects: reading, arithmetic, language arts, social studies, music, art and physical education Students are grouped into classes. The class has the same teacher for most subjects. Only art, music and physical education are taught by teachers who specialize in these areas.
High school Subjects (more specialized) English---grammar and literature social studies---American history American government European history algebra, geometry, and trigonometry 三角学 general science course (one year) detailed courses in biology, chemistry, and physics foreign language music, art, and physical education
High school Students meet a different teacher and a different group of students for each subject. The high school student’s day may be divided into nine periods: five for academic subjects, one session for physical education, a lunch period, and two study periods(visiting the library or participating in an extracurricular activity)
At the stage of elementary education, the teachers have for a long time accepted the idea that the important thing is to make the children happy and interested. Schools in the United States have always stressed character training or social skills training through extracurricular activities. School and home are closely linked, and there is, ideally at least, a sense of partnership between teachers and parents.
Higher Education American education on the college level is provided by more than 3,000 institutions. Some of them are supported privately and some by local and/or state government. Most are coeducational. Since World War II, one of the most dramatic developments in higher education has been the enormous increase in the number of students. This expansion reflects the nation’s population explosion as well as a trend toward democratizing higher education.
Higher Education admittance: good high school record and test scores classification: college--- offer only undergraduate courses university---have undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools junior college---offer the first two years of college only
Some attend junior colleges with two-year courses, most start full four-year degree courses. The Associate( 大专毕业证书 ) in Arts or Sciences degree of the junior or community college is a transfer degree covering the first two years of the bachelor’s degree requirements.
Tests SAT: Scholastic Assessment Test 学术评价测验 Scholastic Aptitude Test 学术性向测验 ACT: American College Testing GRE: Graduate Record Examination 美国研究生入学考试
After completing four academic years with acceptable grades in an approved course of study, the student earns Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. A master’s degree can be earned by one or two academic years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. A Ph.D. degree usually takes at least three years beyond the master’s. Degrees
Ph.D. degree Requirements: pass oral and written examinations in his specialty produce a long research paper which makes an original contribution to his field of study pass reading examinations in one or two foreign languages
About one-fifth of college graduates continue with studies for masters’ or doctors’ degrees in their own major subjects or for professional qualifications in law, medicine, business, etc. in graduate professional schools.
College grades from highest to lowest, run A, B, C, D, F. F is a failing grade. A student does not get credit for having taken a particular course if he receives an F in that course. College students must maintain at least a low C average in order to remain in school.
American colleges and universities have gone to great lengths to see to it that students are not subject to excessive specialization. The way to do this is to require students to take a certain number of courses in one department for his or her major take a certain number of other courses that are distributed among several departments. But he usually concentrates in one field during his last two years of college. Avoid excessive specialization
Campus life A college community is an interesting and lively place. Students become involved in many different activities---extracurricular, religious, social, and athletic. Extracurricular activities are college newspapers, musical organizations, dramatic clubs, and political groups. Student union where students can get together for lunch, study sessions, club meetings, and socializing. At many schools, campus life revolves around fraternities and sororities.
Public or Private Most college students in the United States are in “public” institutions, and only a minority are in “private” ones. The oldest, and in some ways the most prestigious, colleges are private, founded partly from endowments, and partly by contributions from business and above all, former students.
cost The rapidly rising cost of higher education Harvard University(private): tuition+housing and food+ personal expenses =$24,000+$8,000+$8,000 Arizona State University(public): tuition+housing and food+personal expenses=$7,000- $8,000+$2,000-$3,000+$4,000-$5,000
Subjects England and Wales: subjects taught in schools are laid down by the National Curriculum( 课程 ), which was introduced in 1988 and sets out( 制定 ) in detail the subjects that children should study and the levels of achievement they should reach by the ages of 7, 11, 14 and 16, when they are tested. Scotland: each school decides what subjects it will teach. US: the subjects taught are decided by national and local governments.
Religion British schools: usually have prayers and religious instruction American schools : not allowed to include prayers or to teach particular religious beliefs.
Religion In order to give you some more idea about the importance of religion in American life, I might provide you some figures : throughout the United States, about 9 million copies of the Bible are sold every year ; 60 out of 100 Americans are members of a church or temple ; the rest have some kind of religious faith, though they do not belong to a religious organization ; and only 3 percent of the population say they have no religion.
Examinations England and Wales :At 16 students take GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). These examinations are taken by students of all levels of ability in any of a range of subjects and may involve a final examination, an assessment( 评价 ) of work done during the two year course, or both of these things. At 18 some students taken A-level examinations, usually in not more than 3 subjects. It is necessary to have A- levels in order to go to a university or polytechnic( 综合 技术大学 ). US : examinations not as important as in Britain. Students in High Schools do have exams at the end of their last two years, but these final exams are considered along with the work that the students have done during the school years. (Exit Exam)
Social Events and Ceremonies US: a formal ceremony for Graduation (=completion of high school). Students wear a special cap and gown and receive a diploma from the head of the school. Students often buy a yearbook, containing pictures of their friends and teachers. There are also special social events at American schools. Sports events are popular, and cheer leaders lead the school in supporting the school team and singing the school song. At the end of their junior year, at age 17 or 18, students held in the evening. The girls wear long evening dresses and the boys wear TUXEDOS. Britain: no formal dances or social occasions associated with school life. Some schools have SPEECH DAY at the end of the school year when prizes are given to the best students and speeches are made by the head teacher and sometimes an invited guest. However, in many British schools students and teachers organize informal dances for the older students.
Holiday in Britain and the US Paid Holiday People in the US get 2 weeks a year paid vacation (holiday) from their job. Most British people have four or five weeks paid holiday a year. Americans often complain that two weeks is not enough, especially when they hear about the longer holidays that Europeans get. In addition, there are 8 days in each country, which are public holidays (the British call Bank Holiday) and many of these fall on a Monday giving people a long weekend. In Britain, so many people drive to another part of the country, especially the coast, on Bank Holiday weekends that there are serious traffic jams, which may stretch( 长达 ) for many miles.
School Holidays The academic year in UK has three terms. Each term will run for seven to fourteen weeks. School holidays are Christmas, Easter and summer vocation (July to Sep). The primary / secondary schools and further education colleges normally have a much longer term than those adopted by the Universities..
School Holidays US: used to have a 3-month summer holiday a year-round school schedule Students who attend year-round schools in the United States do not go to class every day of the year. They spend the same number of days in class as other students. But the time is organized differently. For example, some students attend school five days a week for nine weeks. Then they have three weeks off before going back to school for another nine weeks. In the summer they have about five weeks of holiday.
The Ivy League ( 常青藤盟校） Some of the best-known private universities in the United States are located in the Northeast. They are the oldest ones in America as well, known informally as the Ivy League. These include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and University of Pennsylvania, with the first three known as “The Big Three”.
Harvard University Harvard is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the eastern coast of the United States.
Harvard University Harvard College was established in 1636. It was named for its first benefactor, John Harvard of Charlestown, a young minister who upon his death, left his library and half his estate to the new institution.
Yale University It comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and ten professional schools. Yale University was founded in 1701.
Princeton University located in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton simultaneously strives to be one of the leading research universities and the most outstanding undergraduate college in the world.
Residential Campus Princeton is a residential campus, where students live in an environment that emphasizes shared experience. Above, families help students move in at the beginning of the school year.
Distinctive Education There are many features that define a Princeton education, but what is most distinctive is the emphasis on providing students with ample opportunity to explore and then deepen their academic interests.
Uniquely Affordable Princeton admits undergraduate students without regard to their family financial circumstances and provides 100 percent of determined need. Approximately 52 percent of the freshman class currently receives need-based financial aid.
Defining Diversity The University is committed to building a diverse campus community by making its distinctive education accessible to students from a broad range of cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds
Broader World View Many academic programs across the University offer students chances to explore international issues in exciting ways that they may not normally consider, from visual arts and music to anthropology and the sciences. Additionally, the Study Abroad Program offers myriad opportunities in more than 35 countries.
Innovations in Teaching & Research Scholars and scientists also create new ways to engage students in the excitement of scientific advances. Some of the most dramatic progress occurs when researchers from different disciplines work together. For example, computer scientist works with seven other faculty members to teach an innovative freshman course that combines biology, physics, chemistry and computer science.