Difference between Chinese and US education at schools


A school system is a kind of hierarchical structure of institutions which allows a person to master knowledge and skills through learning process. Educational system differs for each country and state. In this article, we will talk about main differences in the modern academic process of the USA and China.

Chinese education system

China school system includes pre-school, primary school, junior high school, full secondary school, university and finally postgraduate study.

Education in China starts with pre-school. Kindergartens accept children from age of 3 years. Primary school in China begins at six years and lasts for six years. Main subjects children must study during their educational program are Chinese language, mathematics, natural science, foreign language, moral study and music. One of the most important parts of primary learning is sports.

Secondary schooling in China has three stages. Initial stage is free; students have an opportunity to study subjects like mathematics, Chinese and foreign languages, physics, chemistry, moral study and computer science. Second stage is taking three years of study. And the final third stage lasts for two years of study. Last few years schoolchildren have to train in professional and specialised institutions.

There are three types of higher education in China: courses with special scholastic programs (2-3 years), bachelor’s degree (4-5 years), and master’s program (2-3 years additional). Chinese universities actively accept foreign students and adapt teaching. Despite the fact that all higher educational institutions of China are state-owned, there is no single program for them, unlike the USA, where compulsory academic programs are available. Paid schooling has not been too widespread yet, while applicants, who decide to enter a paid department, come to university on general grounds.

American education system

Historically or even ironically, there is no single national education system in America. Each of the 50 US states has an education department, which sets their own scholastic standards. The system is highly decentralized. By 10th Amendment in American Constitution (“rights not delegated to government of the United States by the Constitution and are not prohibited for the states,” federal government has no right to establish a national education system. The decisions on these issues are taken at level of the state or county authorities.
Despite this, scholastic programs in 50 states are very similar. Even if a student transfers to another college within a country, high chances he/she will have a possibility to submit complete my assignment for me at new location, as syllabus will match his/her previous place of study. Americans attribute this to the result of the impact of such common factors as social and economic needs of the country.

The American school system is based on three main levels: primary (including pre-school and primary), secondary and higher. Studying is started from the age of seven in 29 states, from a six-year period in 18 states and from five years in another three states. During the education in USA schoolchildren of different ages study separately. Middle and high school are separated into different buildings; smallest kids generally have got a separate world. Breaks between lessons are short, for 4-5 minutes, and this time is spent on getting to your locker, putting textbooks from the last lesson, taking new ones and finally reaching a new class. In the middle of the day, there is a 20-minute break for lunch, which is held in dining room, outside, in schoolyard, etc. After first lesson, there is a short “briefing” when pupils gather with their tutor to listen to announcements or to fill in questionnaires.

In total, there are about 2,500 colleges with a four-year course of study (bachelors) and universities in the United States. Almost 15 million youth study there. Along with private higher learning in the US, there is a state form of studying, for example, public universities and colleges. At least there are one state university and several colleges in each state.

Higher education in the USA proclaims four academic degrees: Associate’s – this degree is awarded to a graduate of an average special institution or technical school; Bachelor’s – Bachelor’s degree; Master’s – Master’s degree; Doctorate – doctoral degree.

To get a speciality in a college or university, you need to take a certain number of compulsory subjects and a few – on your choice. The academic system in America is adapted for students from other countries. Graduates of schools can directly enrol in the first year of the university by providing an exam in English and a certificate of secondary education. If the level of English is not enough to start the training, students can complete a preparatory program at the university or college.