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 their lives. Knowing how to solve problems is considered more important than the accumulation of facts.
This is America's answer to the searching question that thoughtful parents all over the world are asking themselves in the fast-moving time: “How can one prepare today's child for a tomorrow that one can neither predict nor understand?”
与其他大多数国家相比，美国教育的不同在于美国教育是为每一个人设置的~"不只是为享 有特权的优等生。学校是要满足每个孩子的需要，不论其能力如何，同时也要满足社会本身的需 求。这意味着公立学校提供的教育不只限于学术方面的课程。很多人来到美国之后会吃惊地发现， 高中除了提供传统课程，例如：数学、历史和语言之外，他们还提供一些课程如打字、缝纫、无线电修理、计算机课程或驾驶训练课程。学生选择课程是根据个人喜好、目标以及能力水平。美 国教育的潜在目标是将每一个孩子的能力最充分地发挥出来，培养每一个孩子的公民和社区觉悟感。
大家对美国的教学方法彳以乎也很陌生。因为这种教学方法不仅不正式，而且不把重点放在学 习具体知识上。相反，美国人教孩子独立思考，教他们自己去开发自己的智慧以及创造能力。学 生花很多时间学习怎样使用参考资料、图书馆、数据以及计算机。美国人认为只要孩子具有好的 推理能力，好的研究方法，他们就能在以后找到自己所需的具体知识。他们还认为懂得怎样解决 问题比积累事实更重要。