A question about the education system in the USA vs Canada?

BigToque

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
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I've read here a few times where people say that a fail is something like 69% and below, and everyone here get's straight A's or 4.0's.

I've got a few friends in business school here (Asper Center in Winnipeg, MB) that say there are competitions with schools from all over the world and the americans usually have their asses handed to them. From talking to my friends (who talk to these american students) it sounds like what we learn during undergrad, they don't start to learn until their graduate studies.

Now this is just one example, but what I'm curious to know is, are the reasons that you guys have such high marks because you don't learn as much as we do at earlier grades/years? Do canadians just have more difficult classes?

(Eg, what we learn in math and biology in grade 12, you don't learn until university).

 

Juno

Lifer
Jul 3, 2004
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Originally posted by: BigToque

(Eg, what we learn in math and biology in grade 12, you don't learn until university).

depends where you are at.

most prep schools do teach courses at college level. my public high school teaches like that too because they prepare us to be ready for college experience.

too bad i'm in college now. :D
 

LongCoolMother

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2001
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on the average, US public K-12 education does a very poor job of educating the general public. However, it does not mean you cannot recieve an excellent and rigorous education from it, it just does not do a good job educating everybody overall. those who are smart are able to better utilize the education provided here and those are the people who go to colleges. And US higher education (college and beyond) is leaps and bounds beyond anything else the rest of the world has to offer.

so, yes, k-12 education is pretty bad here in the sense that it cannot account for many poor students, thats because of lack of discipline etc. etc. Good students can still move very rapidly through courses.
 

Flavius

Golden Member
Feb 18, 2002
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Being a product of the U.S. Education System, I'd say there's some truth to that...at least to an extent.

What information I've seen seems to suggest that education in the U.S. is roughly equivalent to what you see in other nations up through the elementary school years. As students progress towards high school, however, American students fall farther and farther behind in terms of cirriculum. The focus on math and science...well, to put it succinctly...blows.

Does that mean that people in the U.S. do not care about education?

Absolutely not. My belief is that, being a fairly prosperous, well-to-do nation has led to a lot of fairly bored individuals left with nothing to do but bitch and moan about all sorts of things...including taxes. So while a lot of Americans want their children to have great educations, they just don't want to pay the additional taxes necessary to ensure that the proper personnel and cirriculum are in place to actually make it happen.
 

montanafan

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 1999
3,551
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It depends a great deal on the courses you take and how motivated you are in American schools. In a lot of the general studies courses in American schools you have a mix of poorly motivated and better motivated students. Many teachers tend to teach to the lowest common denominator just because they're given a hard time by parents and administrators if too many of the students are failing or doing poorly. So much for high expectations. :confused: In Honors and AP classes you tend have highly motivated students whose parents hold them accountable for how they perform. Those tend to be very rigorous classes with high expectations that should compare to, if not exceed, the standards of any classes taught anywhere.

For example, I've had several international high school students. One from Germany told me once that his classes were boring because he'd already learned the same things that were being going over in them. I looked at his schedule and he was in the basic curriculum classes. I told the counselor about it and he put him in some Honors classes. All of a sudden, his classes weren't so easy and boring anymore. He never said if he appreciated the change or not, just that the classes were much more difficult for him. ;)
 

CanOWorms

Lifer
Jul 3, 2001
12,404
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I went to grad school and there were many foreign students in the program, including some Canadians and that wasn't the case.

I would be surprised because Canadian schools are generally not respected internationally (except for University of Toronto). The best Canadian school is ranked around the 20-25th best US school. Canadian schools are just weak academically, in research, preparing students for industry, etc.

I'm an engineer, and I know several Canadians that moved here and then decided to get MS degrees because their undergraduate degree was extremely watered-down and didn't prepare them for an intense experience in industry. This seems to be a common thing for Canadians that immigrate to the US. I know several hiring managers that no longer recruit Canadians because of this.

Aren't Canadian schools horribly overcrowded? I suspect it may be because of this. Thus, they have to water down their education and provide an easy program.

High school in the US has flexibility for poor students to good students, what types of courses they want to take, etc. It's pretty common to take university-level courses in high school, too.
 

JinLien

Golden Member
Aug 24, 2005
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In Canada there are enrich programs that requires student to maintain at least an A- average to attend the program (depends on school & district. Most will force the student to drop out of the program if the student gets total of 2 B+ grade in 2 years of schooling). Enrich program teaches students the same materials as regular students but at ½ the time, and the rest of the free time is concentrated on first year university materials.

Canada university undergrad degrees are a bit more difficulty to achieve than the US because it want a well rounded student therefore it cover a lot more materials in the 4 or 5 years. Master level is more difficult in the US because the student really have to play catch up in most programs, however many program still are easier than Canada because there is a demand in the market to pump out bodies for the jobs. The US completely catches up to the rest of the world at PHD level because the scientists are just as versatile and intelligent as other scientists.

I worked at the Canadian National Herzberg Institute of Astrophysic and attended a conference on the VLOT (Very Large Optical Telescope) that comprised of over 400 scientists & engineers from all over the world. The scientists that were working in the project was invited to the event was an even spread from every country in the world with Western concentration, and the engineers that was invited/work on the program was mostly Canadian (due to the reasons below)

The main complaint that I have heard from the scientist was that the US engineers tend to want more money than other engineers, and the ones that work on the project are very good at what they are doing, but they seemed to be focus in only one thing only and can?t think out of the box compare to the rest of the engineers (this was a general complaint that I heard from Canadian, American, German, French, and Chinese scientists).

My take on things is that the US have a great job market that demand workers therefore the system pushes people to work that why the education is a bit lower than the majority of the world at the lower level. Canada have great natural environment that spurs creative thinking process, however the job market is much weaker than the US therefore the system uses school to keep people from the work force.

 
Nov 3, 2004
10,491
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81
Originally posted by: BigToque
I've read here a few times where people say that a fail is something like 69% and below, and everyone here get's straight A's or 4.0's.

I've got a few friends in business school here (Asper Center in Winnipeg, MB) that say there are competitions with schools from all over the world and the americans usually have their asses handed to them. From talking to my friends (who talk to these american students) it sounds like what we learn during undergrad, they don't start to learn until their graduate studies.

Now this is just one example, but what I'm curious to know is, are the reasons that you guys have such high marks because you don't learn as much as we do at earlier grades/years? Do canadians just have more difficult classes?

(Eg, what we learn in math and biology in grade 12, you don't learn until university).

whatcha talking about?

anyways, I have no idea about how our business graduate studies perform compared to Canadian ones, but I'd say that it's probably about equal. Besides, what do the competitions usually entail? I'd say there's plenty of good business in the States...