-Goal of American Education
Education is an enormous and expensive part of American life. Its size is matched by its variety.
Differences in American schools compared with those found in the majority of other countries lie in the fact that education here has long been intended for everyone — not just for a privileged elite. Schools are expected to meet the needs of every child, regardless of ability, and also the needs of society itself. This means that public schools offer more than academic subjects. It surprises many people when they come here to find high schools offering such courses as typing, sewing, radio repair, computer programming or driver training, along with traditional academic subjects such as mathematics, history, and languages. Students choose their curricula depending on their interests, future goals, and level of ability. The underlying goal of American education is to develop every child to the utmost of his or her own possibilities, and to give each one a sense of civic and community consciousness.
Schools have traditionally played an important role in creating national unity and “Americanizing” the millions of immigrants who have poured into this country from many different backgrounds and origins. Schools still play a large role in the community, especially in the small towns.
The approach to teaching may seem unfamiliar to many, not only because it is informal, but also because there is not much emphasis on learning facts. Instead, Americans try to teach their children to think for themselves and to develop their own intellectual and creative abilities. Students spend much time, learning how to use resource materials, libraries, statistics and computers. Americans believe that if children are taught to reason well and to research well, they will be able to find whatever facts they need throughout the rest of thei