The reflection begins with a short mention of Sheila’s past experience learning about the education system of a country. It helps to capture the reader’s attention, serves as a compelling introduction to the topic, and demonstrates how reading the chapter has influenced Sheila’s opinion. The reflection gives a brief summary of the salient points of the education system of each country discussed in the chapter, including the historical background. Sheila’s own point of view is expressed clearly, as connections are drawn with previous knowledge and experience, and comparisons are made.
When discussing the education system in China, Sheila suggests that it would be beneficial for America’s education system to adapt the quality-oriented curriculum placing the students in control of their learning. On the same note, Sheila mentions great amounts of stress being a downside of the Chinese education system. Regarding the stress that Chinese students find themselves under, Ornstein and Hunkins (2018) state how it is mainly a result of the way the students’ parents perceive education (p. 351). This might suggest that involving parents is an essential part of implementing such a change in order to achieve better results.
Later, Sheila reflects positively on the three pillars of Singapore’s education. However, the pillar of meritocracy, attaching much importance to the national examinations, could lead to excessive pressure placed on students, thus resulting in loss of self-confidence mentioned earlier in the reflection. As Sheila notes the significance of entrusting teachers with assessment in the first half of the reflection, it could be worth considering the possible advantages of a more personalized evaluation system. If teachers assessed students based on their performance over time rather than putting emphasis on the results of one high-stakes exam, it could lower students’ stress levels and improve their general performance.
Overall, the reflection is well-structured, touches upon each country’s educational system, and provides interesting suggestions. Sheila’s thoughts regarding each country’s system are clear and presented in a well-organized manner. However, the reflection could be improved by summarizing some of its key points and suggestions in the conclusion.
The reflection starts with an introduction to the main concepts discussed in the chapter, namely “global mind” and “cosmopolitanism”. Daniella explains their relevancy to the essential question of modern education, which is aimed at defining the purpose thereof. Then, the reader is presented with summarized information about the education system of five countries: Finland, Australia, China, Brazil, and South Africa. In conclusion, Daniella reiterates the importance of encouraging students to adopt a global mindset and of staying open-minded to the possible contributions that countries worldwide might offer.
In the reflection, Daniella identifies and emphasizes the main points of the chapter. The ideas are presented in the same order as that of the chapter and, in some instances, are complimented by Daniella’s opinions and suggestions. Talking about Finland, Daniella elaborates on the education’s main objectives, such as promoting lifelong learning. However, the educational goals of other countries are less clearly discussed, while more emphasis is placed on describing different levels of education. Seeing how at the beginning of the reflection, the main question of today’s education was about its purpose, comparing the objectives of different countries’ education would be interesting.
The South African education system has taken a more democratic approach. It has been accompanied by a shift towards prioritizing, similar to the Finish system, lifelong learning, as “the stress on outcomes-based education has been softened” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2018, p. 360). It would also be insightful to learn more about Daniella’s perspective regarding each system and if some of their strong sides could be implemented in American education.
Overall, the reflection primarily summarizes the information presented in the chapter. Although it provides Daniella’s point of view on the importance of adopting a global mindset, the reflection could be improved by further elaboration of Daniella’s personal thoughts. Other than that, fixing some minor misprints, like “in what cultures we exist in”, and dedicating a separate paragraph to the system of each country could make it even better.
Hunkins, F.P., & Ornstein, A.C. (2018). International scenes in education. Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues (pp. 330-368). Pearson.