Similarities Between Educational Systems of the U.S. and France
The United States and France are two examples of the most developed Western countries, which means that their cultures are, for the most part, similar. That is why there are numerous common aspects of their educational systems. To begin with, both the U.S. and France are countries with increased cultural diversities in their educational system. For instance, in the United States, most foreign students come from China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc. (Samovar, Porter, McDaniel, & Roy, 2017).
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As for France, its educational institutions provide services to students from Morocco, China, Algeria, etc. (Project Atlas, 2016). Regardless of the differences in the background of foreign students, this similarity contributes to the growing co-culturing of the educational systems in both states due to the commonality of multicultural classrooms. Still, both educational systems are known for generalizing, which means that no attention is paid to the culture-specific needs of minorities and all students are treated in the same way (Samovar et al., 2017).
One more similarity between France and the U.S. is the perception of time. Both cultures belong to monochromic time people known as M-type. The specificity of these cultures is taking time seriously, as it is fixed in its nature (Samovar et al., 2017).
This approach to time is commonly represented in both educational systems, which are characterized by curricula, concentration on one topic at a time, strict deadlines for taking courses, and promotion of punctuality. Moreover, both countries belong to direct listening cultures. It means that the educational process is associated with active discussions, as people never hesitate to ask questions or confront speakers.
Finally, both cultures promote individualism. It can be easily traced in all spheres of life including education. That said, individual accomplishments are highly valued and rewarded, thus pointing to the significance of individual projects and speeches. At the same time, it is imperative to point to the perception of education in France and the U.S, as both cultures view it as important. However, it is not a critical constituent of success due to the significance of individual traits (Samovar et al., 2017).
Differences Between Educational Systems of the U.S. and France
Educational systems of the U.S. and France are characterized by numerous differences. To begin with, the two countries are on the contrary edges of the monumentalism-flexibility scale. According to Samovar et al. (2017), monumentalism is signaled by the cultural promotion of high self-pride and strong values. Because the focus is made on having fun, monumentalism is often associated with the expectation of lower educational achievements.
On the other hand, flexibility refers to easy adaptation to changing conditions in various socio-cultural spheres. It is a combination of humility and flexibility, which points to poor self-promotion, thus leading to higher educational achievements. From this perspective, France is an example of flexibility, while in the U.S., monumentalism is a common cultural phenomenon (Samovar et al., 2017).
Moreover, in the United States, specific attention is paid to language, as it is a common tool for guaranteeing proper operation of educational institutions. That is why working with interpreters is a generally accepted practice, which is often chosen for improving educational performance and outcomes of minorities. At the same time, in France, it is a limited practice, as most educational institutions use official language for providing educational services just like all countries of the European Union, and the emphasis is put on national and language identity (Samovar et al., 2017).
Finally, France is known for its low power distance, while the U.S. culture centers on high power distance. In education, this cultural phenomenon is seen insubordination between educators and students. That said, the American educational system operates under strict laws and is teacher-centered. It means that communication is initiated by educators, who are believed to possess life wisdom and be competent. On the other hand, in France, the focus is made on eliminating boundaries between educators and students, thus promoting their equality and free dialog (Samovar et al., 2017).
Project Atlas. (2016). International students in France. Web.
Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., McDaniel, E. R., & Roy, C. S. (2017). Communication between cultures (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.