The educational system is a critically important part of any state as it guarantees the transfer of knowledge to the next generation and its ability to succeed and contribute to the development of the nation. In this regard, its effectiveness is one of the major concerns for every country. The given paper is devoted to the comparison of the U.S. and Russian systems with the primary goal to outline differences and conclude with the recommendations for further improvement.
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In the Russian educational system, much attention is devoted to patriotic issues. Russia is presented as one of the leading countries with its unique history full of glorious victories that shaped the nation of winners. The WWII is presented as an example of courage and heroism of Russian citizens who made the biggest contribution to win in this war (“Russian education system”, n.d.). The given approach forms the image of a superstate and specific mentality among pupils who recognize a fundamental role of the state at the international level.
In the USA, patriotism also plays a critical role in the education system. The state is described as one of the dominant forces in the world policy, and its history serves as the factor to form mentalities that will support this idea and contribute to the further development of this vector of global relations (Corsi-Bunker, n.d.).
In Russia, social goals are not devoted much attention during classes. It comes from the peculiarities of the state’s development as such issues as racism, gender, or racial discrimination are not typical for the country (“Russian education system”, n.d.). At the same time, there are attempts to solve current violence or drugs problems by promoting a healthy lifestyle and better relations with peers. There are also meetings with parents organized to discuss some problematic questions or support of social agencies.
On the contrary, in the USA, racism, sex education, gangs, and racial discrimination remain relevant issues for the education system (Ravitch, 2016). There are multiple attempts to reconsider attitude to these elements by creating a specific environment promoting the evolution of tolerance and quality among pupil.
In Russia, there are also free-lunch programs accepted in every public school with the primary aim to provide pupils with food and ensure the preservation of their health status. Learners from various families or belonging to different social groups can have a free meal during their school day. It is one of the critical elements of the educational system in the state (Potapova & Trines, 2017). However, in many cases, the quality of food might be doubtful, and students can refuse to eat it.
In the USA, there are a subsidized meal and free-lunch programs presupposing that students and pupils have an opportunity to eat in the school cafeteria. However, in many cases, parents and children are not satisfied with the offered products and provide children with lunchboxes packed from home to ensure that a child will eat tasty and healthy food (Loo, 2018).
Comparing the systems, the critical differences in the length of school days should be admitted. In Russia, classes normally start at 8 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. There are 6 or 7 lessons, 45 minutes each, every day (Potapova & Trines, 2017). Learners attend educational establishments five days a week; however, some schools might demand an additional day. The given approach is used because of the extended curriculum and many subjects that should be studied.
In the USA, students spend less time in classes. Usually, the day in schools starts at 8.30 p.m. and finishes at 3 p.m. This period is divided into six one-hour classes or four 90-minute classes (Corsi-Bunker, n.d.). There is also a break for lunch; moreover, a significant part of this time learners are not in classes. For this reason, there are multiple claims to increase the length of the school day to include more subjects.
As for religious issues, in Russia, this aspect is given little attention in the education sphere. There is a strict division between religion and education for students to remain objective and be able to acquire new knowledge (Potapova & Trines, 2017). Additionally, there are religious studies in primary schools; however, there are some attempts to add this subject to the curriculum. Holidays such as Easter and Christmas are observed and celebrated as they are considered days-off.
In the USA, public schools can teach religion; however, they are prohibited from the promotion of a certain confession. Students have the opportunity to pray or perform other sacral actions, but they cannot affect their peers or distribute literature related to it (Corsi-Bunker, n.d.). Moreover, religious holidays are not observed by school workers as it is unconstitutional.
Finally, speaking about social aspects, for Russia, school shooting does not constitute a serious problem. There are no such cases peculiar to the state’s educational system. It can be explained by differences in mentalities, attitude to firearms, and atmosphere in schools (Potapova & Trines, 2017). However, there is still a serious risk of terrorist attacks, which means that some security measures are implemented.
As for the USA, school shooting is a critical problem for the sector. Every year, accidents of this sort result in students’ deaths and serious injuries (Loo, 2018). For this reason, there are multiple appeals to alter the existing approach to this aspect with the primary aim to guarantee the improvement of the given sphere and elimination of central causes of these acts of violence performed by adolescents.
Due to the historical context, equality of opportunity remains one of the central concerns for the Russian education system. It is able to provide all students with an education regardless of their social status, culture, race, gender. There are no signs of segregation in schools or biased attitudes to some groups (“Russian education system”, n.d.). Additionally, schools cooperate with communities to ensure that all children have a chance to be educated and try to solve problems families might face.
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In the USA, there are still some problems with access to education because of the racial issues and biased attitudes. Statistics show that representatives of African-American communities acquire poorer knowledge because of the existence of a set of social factors and barriers, preventing them from being engaged in the process (Ravitch, 2016). For this reason, there are attempts to reconsider this pattern to achieve success.
In both compared states, students are not viewed as the capital for business. First of all, it can be explained by the fact that public schools are free and are funded by the government. The given approach provides all citizens with an opportunity to acquire the education needed for their future success. In Russia, the federal budget for every year is planned considering expenses demanded for the educational sector to evolve and teach all pupils (“Russian education system”, n.d.). That is why taxes are the main source of funding for schools.
In the USA, the situation is similar. The US Department of Education reports that every year the Federal Government devotes 8% to funding public schools, and local governments are provided with an opportunity to find additional resources to create opportunities for all students (Corsi-Bunker, n.d.).
For this reason, the business does not play a significant role in the educational systems of the state, and students are provided with multiple opportunities for their development regardless of this sphere.
Being multicultural states, both the USA and the Russian Federation appreciate the existing diversity among students. In Russia, classes consist of representatives of various nationalities living in the country, which means that there are high inclusion levels. There are no differences in perspectives on many groups of students, and the school system cultivates diversity by promoting better cooperation between cultures.
The U.S. system has similar peculiarities as it also encourages cooperation between national groups and cultural diversity. It means that there are also attempts to create an inclusive environment promoting improved communication patterns and their application to different situations and contexts (Corsi-Bunker, n.d.). There is also the focus on global cooperation as one of the chances to improve international intercourse.
The majority of schools in Russia provide students with an opportunity to learn a second language, such as English, German, French. Learners are free to select the most appropriate option for them. This approach is expected to help them communicate at the international level and succeed in these forms of communication (“Russian education system”, n.d.). Additionally, multilingual education is a key to a better understanding between representatives of various nations living in the state.
In the USA, there are also multiple chances to learn a second language to improve their way of thinking and contribute to the development of better cooperation between various cultural groups. Learners can study French, Spanish, and other languages, which means that bilingual issues are addressed.
Charter Schools and Choice
Russian education system presupposes that parents can select a school that might meet their requirements better. There is a wide variety of public schools that are available for individuals. For learners with specific needs, homeschooling is also available (Potapova & Trines, 2017). However, charter and private establishments’ pool is limited as this practice is comparatively new to the region and they need certification. Non-public entities try to compete with the traditional ones by offering better conditions and innovative teaching methods; however, they are not available to everyone because of the high price.
In the USA the situation is different. There are many charter or private schools that should also be certified and preserve the high level of popularity among parents because of their reputation. In such a way, parents are free to choose looking for the better option. It can also be a problem because of making education a business (Ravitch, 2016). At the same time, there is monitoring of such institutions’ work via the existing curriculum.
State and National Curriculum Influence on Education
In both discussed countries, the State curriculum can be considered the major document impacting the education and knowledge provided to learners. In Russia, the curriculum includes more disciplines and presupposes the acquisition of more extensive information if to compare with the USA (Potapova & Trines, 2017; Ravitch, 2016). The existence of these documents is needed to avoid critical alterations in some regions that might result in the deterioration of the process or appearance of essential flaws (Loo, 2018). Additionally, the existence of national testing in both counties ensures that students’ achievement will be monitored using the existing grading criteria to ensure that they are prepared for future education or work in particular sectors.
Teachers as Professionals
Because of the peculiarities of their job, teachers are highly-respected professionals both in the USA and Russia. They should earn at least a Bachelor’s degree and continue their training because educators are required to possess the high level of knowledge and remain informed about the newest methods that can be used in the educational sphere. For instance, Russian teachers are obliged to attend specific education courses and additional training every three years to preserve the high level of effectiveness and be able to work with new technologies (Potapova & Trines, 2017). These programs are free and funded by the government.
In the USA, for license renewal, every teacher should complete 90 hours of professional development every five years (Corsi-Bunker, n.d.). This approach guarantees that the high level of professionalism will be preserved. At the same time, these courses provide an opportunity to remain informed about the existing opportunities and methods for educating students.
The factor of salaries remains critical for viewing teachers as respected professionals as it directly impacts satisfaction and motivation. In Russia, the average salary is 526$ per month, which is considered low, especially because of the existence of critical differences in payments regarding the region (“Teacher salaries in Russia”, n.d.). It reduces the income of specialists into the sphere as graduates prefer to select other better-paid options.
In the USA, the average starting teacher salary is about $38,617, or $3,218 per month (“Teacher salaries in America”, n.d.). There are also opportunities for the further rise, which means that teachers are better paid if to compare with Russia; however, there are still some dissatisfaction with the current situation because of the incongruity between the importance of the sphere and the level of payments here.
Finally, in Russia, teachers remain one of the most vulnerable workers’ groups because of the absence of any protection. Belonging to the public sector, they critically depend on the government and its regulations, which might result in some cases of power abuse (Potapova & Trines, 2017). In the USA, the situation is better because of the existence of unions such as the National Education Association that might protect employees.
Globalization of Education
Speaking about globalization issues, this factor remains one of the weakest points of the Russian education system. There are many outdated practices that are still used by educators, which slows down the speed of integration with the international community (Potapova & Trines, 2017). Students face some problems after graduating from high school because of their inability to find jobs or lack of experience.
In the USA, more attention is devoted to globalization issues. Students are educated about the necessity to work in new competitive environments characterized by the high speed of globalization (Loo, 2018). For this reason, they have more opportunities for career growth.
The aspect of technology remains problematic for the majority of schools in Russia. Despite the focus on the creation of an innovative environment, the lack of financing results in the absence of devices and tools needed to create high levels of competence regarding this issue. However, there are signs of improvement in some regions.
In the USA the situation is better because of the availability of the needed equipment in schools and the appropriate financing, which creates new opportunities for learners and provides them with a chance to utilize technologies that would be helpful in the future.
Traditionally, students from the USSR, the predecessor of the Russian Federation, had shown outstanding academic achievements. The similar situation can be observed today as Russian learners remain competitive because of the extensive knowledge (“Russian education system”, n.d.). They hold leading positions in the world and remain demanded by various institutions.
As for the USA education system, it competitiveness is doubted because of the moderate level of academic achievement if to compare with leading states (Ravitch, 2016). It comes from the gaps in data and some critical flaws of the education system that deteriorate the quality of knowledge among students.
Altogether, the two analyzed educational systems have some similarities and differences that come from the peculiarities of the states’ development. Being free for learners, they provide all citizens with an opportunity to acquire the needed knowledge and succeed in the future. However, the level of academic achievement is higher among Russian students, which can be explained by powerful cultural heritage, better curriculum, and focus on the promotion of traditional knowledge.
To increase its effectiveness, the US education system demands several alterations. First, it can be recommended to reconsider the existing curriculum with the primary aim to ensure that deeper and more important knowledge will be provided to students. Second, there is a critical need to eliminate all biased attitudes or discriminative patterns to include all learners regardless of their status. Finally, there is a requirement for the increased competition to create outstanding motivation to learn and acquire knowledge.
Corsi-Bunker, A. (n.d.). Guide to the education system in the United States. Web.
Loo, B, (2018). Education in the United States of America. Web.
Potapova, E., & Trines, S. (2017). Education in the Russian Federation. Web.
Ravitch, D. (2016). The death and life of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Basic Books.
Russian education system. (n.d.). Web.
Teacher salaries in America. (n.d.). Web.
Teacher salaries in Russia. (n.d.). Web.