Rus Articles Journal

Education on - is American: from Puritanism - to the legalized freedom of

Since development of “the wild West“ citizens of America managed to develop in themselves a unique set of qualities thanks to which they can be recognized in any country of the world: it is relaxedness, ability without panic to get out of the difficult situations and feeling of full internal freedom at emphasized political correctness and law-abidingness. The foundation of similar mentality is laid since early years. What features of the American education of children?

hope For God also itself not ploshay!

America - the country of immigrants. And the mentality of citizens of the USA (including the attitude towards children) was formed, on the one hand, on the basis of motley and diverse culture of different nationalities, and with another - under the influence of Wednesday in which these people got, having appeared on the new continent.

the Territory which became the United States subsequently originally was the English colony, and for a long time the bulk of white pervoposelenets was made there by puritans - representatives of religious communities which in Great Britain were exposed to prosecutions from the state and the dominating church. These people moved from England to America, dreaming to carry out these or those experiments on socially there - to a political reorganization of society. Individualism, a support on own forces, belief in the selectness and special mission, and also high moral standards in everyday life, diligence, truthfulness, restraint in feelings are characteristic of religious representations of puritans. In many respects these qualities helped pioneers of development of America to survive and become owners on the new earth. They exerted the defining impact on formation of the American nation in general and what we understand as the American character. Children of immigrants received the education constructed generally on fundamental bible and family values. Comprehensive schools in the majority were confessional, that is belonged to this or that religious community. Besides, there was a network of sunday schools. In remote districts where representatives of faiths could not reach from - for long distances and off road terrain, inhabitants regularly arranged family readings and discussions of the Bible and another spiritually - moral literature.

the Considerable part of the population lived in rural areas, on farms which sometimes were in big removal from the cities and from each other. Therefore in difficult situations there was nobody to wait for the help, the family could count only on the forces, and children were raised as appropriate. In boys courage, initiative, ability to independently make rational decisions, ability to stand for itself and relatives, love of freedom and self-confidence was cultivated. It is characteristic that waited for the same and from girls - in the absence of the husband the woman had to be able to carry out all his duties, and if something happens and to stand for herself and children. So ability to handle the weapon, to jump astride and other typically male skills were held in high esteem at the fair sex.

Of course, the ethnic and racial portrait of the USA since those times considerably changed. However Puritan morals and values of the first settlers continue to exert impact on the American model of education.

the Family - the main value

Education in a family still - an important aspect for Americans. Parents, even busied and absorbed, consider as the indispensable duty to find as much as possible time for the children, to be interested in their progress and development, to penetrate into their hobbies and problems. Family campaigns on the nature, excursions, picnics, at least regular dinners together - an integral part of life of many American families. And the morning performance organized in kindergarten, club at church or the national cultural organization on which there`s not an inch of room from fathers and mothers with video cameras, and any plain song or a rhyme from children`s lips causes a storm of an applause, - absolutely usual picture.

Contrary to a popular belief, the number of the working mothers in the USA is not so high and tends to reduction. More and more parents prefer a family to work and career. With whom and where there is in the USA most of children of preschool age, it is difficult to tell as the such statistics is in constant dynamics and strongly differs depending on social, property and racial group. But most likely, number of kids who are under supervision of mothers - housewives of nurses (bebysitter) or attend various improvised circles and kindergartens, it is much more, than the number of the children visiting formal kindergarten structures.

Interesting feature of the last years - the fact that with children fathers began to stay at home more often. Naturally, it is about cases when mothers really do serious career and their earnings more than enough for comfortable existence of a family. Quite often parents take advantages of flexible hours or distant work through virtual office to devote to a family as much as possible time.

In America any clubs of women with small children in whom mothers in turn remain with kids of the girlfriends, of neighbors and brothers in faith are widespread

or meet in the neutral territory (club, church, library etc.) for communication, exchange of experience, and at the same time - that children played together. Informality of similar associations, of course, disposes to manifestation of creative potential of their participants, but does not allow to consider them as part of an educational system fully.

Study will wait for

It is necessary to tell several words about public libraries and the so-called public centers (community centers). They exist almost everywhere. Quite often there are well equipped game rooms, computer halls, free or very inexpensive circles, including for preschool children. Subjects - for every taste: drawing, singing, application, dances, theatrical groups, circles of fans of the nature and many others. And a main goal of occupations - entertainment, game and feeling it is good also with advantage of the spent time. The academic achievements of the child (for example, early mastering reading or the letter) disturb the American parents much less, than Russian. In our country there was already normal a situation when at receipt in a preparatory class demand ability to read from children, and learning of foreign language in a garden is considered advantage. It is difficult for most of Americans to understand and accept similar realities. It is considered that the child by all means will learn all this knowledge when time comes.

Life as it is

One more “wonder“ of the American education from the Russian point of view - the fact that grandmothers in the USA are, as a rule, not burdened with cares of grandsons. In many respects such relation results from an old Puritan ideal of independence and self-sufficiency. Children are problems of parents, and so far as those considered themselves rather adult to have kids, have to think also of the one who will be engaged in them. Besides, Americans - very mobile nation, by some calculations, the average resident of the USA changes the residence of 4 - 5 times during life therefore often grandsons live far from grandmothers and grandfathers and see them several times in a year. Representatives of middle class (namely the bulk of the population belongs to it) in the USA practically do not use services of tutors, hired tutors and private teachers. The qualified specialist in the field of education of children costs here very much, and the majority of families cannot simply afford it. However, and the aspiration to create special hothouse conditions for children is not peculiar to very wealthy Americans. Children will not be able to live all life in it “the sparing mode“, they should adapt to conditions of the market and the competition therefore sons and daughters need to be accustomed to realities of everyday life in advance. However, the working parents for supervision for the most small children everything are employ babysitters. The vast majority of representatives of this profession in the USA - women without any vocational education, make considerable part of them the immigrants concordant to work without official registration for very small, according to the American standards, remuneration.

Of course, babysitters spend considerable time with kids and in a certain measure exert impact on formation of the identity of the pupils but about any systematic education the speech does not go here.

is forbidden to Leave small children unguarded, and the parents arriving in this way can be subjected administrative and if it entailed any serious consequences (a trauma, the fire), then and to criminal penalty.

It is time for p to gain knowledge

the Day nursery (nursery) in the USA exists too. But it is private commercial institutions, and keeping of the child in them can cost more, than fee of the babysitter. In day nursery and kindergartens with children play (including the developing games), I walk, they are fed, put to bed - in a word, provide leaving. But training per se begins only in a preparatory class (kindergarden) at schools. There is no state system of a day nursery and kindergartens in this country, the state reads out itself responsible for education of children since school age, more precisely - from a preparatory class of school. So preschool education in America differs in the huge width and freedom of approaches and methods.

When to the child is 5 years old, it comes to a preparatory class. At public schools training in it free, as well as all educational accessories - handles, pencils, felt-tip pens, notebooks, plasticine. At will it is possible to give the kid in full-temporary (from 8 to 15 o`clock) or the reduced class (with 9 to 12). For persons interested two times food is organized, and children from families with the low income eat for symbolical money or is free. Special emphasis in educational process is placed on those receptions which excite interest and desire to participate - the training games, including mobile, drawing and production of hand-made articles, learning of songs, verses, counting rhymes. It is considered important to develop the children`s imagination and imagination. For this purpose kids can “compose“ the book in pictures, and then tell its plot to companions and the tutor.

Besides, under supervision of the tutor children look after plants, regularly water them, loosen the soil and share the achievements with a class. Kids can also watch larvae of butterflies and grasshoppers, to collect a collection of beautiful pebbles. Fancy-dress representations, morning performances and sketches to which as the audience mothers and fathers are always invited regularly get a job in schools. Many parents voluntarily help the tutor and a class, watch kids during excursions or assist on morning performances. As a rule, at the end of the academic year on a celebratory assembly the principal personally thanks especially caused a stir volunteers from among parents, handing them memorable badges and gifts.

Internationalism, patriotism and... chastity

One of the reasons for pride in modern America - multiculturalism. It is cultivated at schools since the very first steps. Explain to children that all people, irrespective of racial, national, religious or language identity, have equal rights and potential. Therefore the situation in which the little representative of other race, nationalities or the child who is poorly knowing English would be a derelict at the American school is almost inconceivable. But along with it also “the unity in variety“, that is idea that whatever different were the people inhabiting America confesses, they are first of all Americans and it are strong. Even in a preparatory class every day occupations begin with choral reading of “pledge of allegiance“, an oath on fidelity to the United States. All kids soon learn it by heart though they often, owing to age, not always understand its sense. Of course each school and each cool room are decorated with a flag of the USA.

Approach of Americans to sexual education and questions of a floor in many respects is defined by heritage of Puritan morals. The corresponding course of occupations includes in curricula of comprehensive schools, however its visit - facultatively, and parents have the right to refuse that their child was present at similar lessons.

A lot of attention is paid by

to observance of external decencies. For example, even absolutely little girls cannot be seen on a public beach without bathing suits. And any elements of a sensuality on public channels of television and in advertizing are completely tabooed.

of Any violence!

Should tell

several words about house punishments and encouragement. The American legislation directly does not forbid corporal punishments of children, however in society the opinion prevails that educational measures such are a remnant of the past and confirm the low intellectual and moral level of parents who apply them. And complaints of kids in a garden, school or just to neighbors on a manhandling from mother or the father, not to mention external signs of the similar address (bruises, grazes, etc.) can lead to serious trial and big problems for parents if it becomes clear that the corrective actions applied by them have inadequate character.

as punishment for disobedient kids deprivation of entertainments, sweets, toys and other pleasures practices, but if the child complains of it to people around, such act of parents can be regarded as abuse (the illegal actions which entailed physical or moral damage). As a result in the best way to inspire in the child that he behaved incorrectly, there is a conversation. It is considered that any punishment has to be followed by a detailed explanation of its motives. At first sight, such approach can seem very difficult and inefficient, leading to permissiveness from children, however in practice this method disciplines both children, and parents.

In school?
With pleasure!

Undoubted advantage of the American approach to education is its informality and an emphasis on practical knowledge and skills. The course on a pragmatism, sometimes to the detriment of theoretical knowledge, is caused by American mentality. From outside the relation to assimilation of knowledge in the USA, especially at early stages (kindergarten, preparatory classes) can seem insufficiently serious and even superficial. However many parents (in particular, immigrants from the former USSR) pleasantly are surprised by that desire with which children in America hurry in school and share what they learned and learned today.

Not the informer, but the honest citizen

Many natives of Russia are negative to “yabednichestvo“ which they as it seems to them, impart them to children since early years. But in America look at it differently, children accustom to be law-abiding citizens and to watch that their companions were law-abiding too. And if such behavior model is natural and standard, including in children`s collective, no problems with “informers“ and “informers“ arise.

of “Strangers“ does not happen

the American children`s collective differs in surprising tolerance. Situations when peers laugh or scoff at children, are extremely uncharacteristic. Red, four-eyes, lop-eared can feel in perfect security. Of course, a lot of things depend on the area where there is an educational institution, but in general fights and other misconduct - it is rather an exception, than the rule for the American children. Adaptation of children from other countries, including from Russia, as a rule, takes place in the American schools very smoothly. Skills of a spoken language are acquired within several months, and further the child feels absolutely comfortably. Especially as it, as a rule, appears not the only foreigner in a class. And in New - York, Florida or California the number of children - immigrants at schools often surpasses the number of indigenous Americans. Of course, a lot of things in the course of adaptation depend on the personality and specific features of the child, on a spirit of his family on adaptation in new society, however the atmosphere of educational institutions favors to that this process was painless as much as possible.

Of course, experience of other country and culture it is impossible to move to the native soil mechanically. But in it there is also no need. However acquaintance to such experience, creative judgment of its positive and rational moments are very important to change something to the best and at home.