If you’ve ever questioned why it is that there’s a stereotype that Asians are the smartest people, you are misinformed – it is not that here, in America, we do not have the capacity to be as bright. It is the way they are taught from an early age. The school system in America is so relaxed that foreign exchange students from Asian countries are often shocked at the lack of work we have to do! In fact, with talking to one of my friends who came here from Thailand, I discovered her anxiety of slacking off in the US would cause her failure in the future during College Entrance Exams.
As told by infoplease, Asian countries do have differences in regards to school years. For example, Japan runs on a trimester schedule while South Korea runs on two semesters a year. In the States, we run on two semesters a year as well – however, we do not stay in school for very long. According to the link, eight hour school days is what is required in Korea, which is seemingly the same amount of time that students in the US are in school – however, most students stay behind to study and clean classrooms. Then, after dinner, they study more. Imagine if students in the US stayed after school to clean! The idea is so bizarre to me!
Regardless of the seasons that school is in session, Asian countries have racked up significant more school days than America has. According to wsj, Chinese students have approximately 41 more days of school than students in the US do. That’s nearly a month and a half! If American students had that advantage, that dedication, and that perseverance, we would be in the same education-driven boat.
As quoted by asiasociety, “Education has contributed to the growth of Korea’s democratic government. It has produced hardworking, skilled employees who have brought about an economic miracle within a single generation. It has reaffirmed traditional values while maintaining its commitment to modernization, citizenship, and global involvement.”
Though we may not necessarily wish to pursue education through the same methods that people of Asian society do, the end goal – the one that most Asian countries are striving for (and succeeding at) – is achievable for Americans. One has to admit that our nation’s education system is not the most efficient, with an emphasis on social matters and a seventy-seven percent graduation rate for high schools, according to pbs.
One of the things that we have in America that sets us apart in a positive way is that failing students always get second chances unless they give up on themselves. Every high school has a Drop Out Prevention Specialist to help students devise a plan for their academic success.
If we want to make a change, something has to change in our hearts. We can’t be a lazy generation in regards to education, or anything for that matter.