The early beginning of the US education system on the east coast in North America started with the advent of the pilgrims fathers in the 16th centuries. They came from Europe with strong Protestant religious beliefs which are enshrined in the Bible which accompanied them. The male soldiers, who often were the only experience people in formal academic education and therefore could read, were fundamentally laymen as well as teachers. Their weekly were in reality Bible classes wherein the congregations were educated and lectured on moral and codes of good behaviour. This was to ensure that not only the Ten Commandments were strictly adhered to but also the social and thereby the civic and political establishment governing their communities was respected.
Then as the east coast settlements became more strongly established and became more popular, Quaker’s schools were created for the growing numbers of the children in the communities. These schools were being funded by the tithe collections from the meeting house congregations.
In 17 and 18th centuries as the wagon trains of people pushed westwards into the winter lands to settle and develop the country. Many of these pilgrims were very religious. They of course carried with them not only the Bible but also the ethos of their belief so as to educate other people to read.
Accordingly as the settlements or townships sprung up stretching westwards across the prairies a solid economic order was established resulting in the formation of Town Council. These were funded not by tithe contributions but by local taxies levied on the secular communities. These town councils began to establish small schools or school rooms often of wooden constructions.
On the west coast of the American continent particularly in the South, education development however originated with the Spanish explorers and subsequent they became exploiting colonies. As the Spanish settlements prospered often at the expense of the Indian native inhabitants so did the ecclesiastical order who, built their monasteries and churches with stones or brides their acquired wealth of gold and silver. Ancillary buildings to the monasteries were school rooms in which the Catholic monks were the teachers. Similarly, to the Protestant elders the priority was to instil Christian beliefs into the pupils as distinct to a broad based academic education.
Thus it can be seen that it was the Christian religious (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) that was the driving force in establishing the formative roots of the American Education system and it was from these humble beginnings that many of the USA leading universities and educational institutions have grown into fruition.
Coming forward to the present day, there can be seen the deep and lasting Christian religious influence on the formation of many establishments of tertiary education throughout the whole of the USA. Some like the Brigham Young University in Utah (named after Brigham Young who was a leading elder for the Mormon), the Baptist Colleges and Roman Catholic universities reflecting just some of the many Christians denominations which have created their on academic institutions. These are in additional seminaries and theocratic colleges for the training of religious clerics.
Today, American education system is popular worldwide mostly because of the freedom it gives especially to the higher education students. Students have so many different options when it comes to selecting the subjects. Universities and colleges and universities in USA facilitate the students with some of the best teaching techniques, good equipments to help them in their science and technology subjects.
Today in United States, education is compulsory for all students until ages sixteen to eighteen depending on the individual state. Children in America start their school at the age of 5. The first year is known as Kindergarten. After the kindergarten year, they join primary school otherwise known as elementary school for 5 years. The time they are in primary school is referred to as grade so they go from first grade through to fifth grade. During this time in elementary schools, the children are taught different subjects like the skills that they will need through out their lives these includes arithmetic, reading and writing. They are also taught morals rights and how to be good citizens.
After the fifth year in primary school, the students are advanced to secondary school and this usually goes on for seven years. The years in secondary school is referred to as year sixth grade to twelfth grade. The ninth through twelfth grades are most commonly referred to as high school. After the twelfth year, the students are awarded with a high school diploma. For a student to be enrolled to a college or university, they must have obtained a high school diploma. For foreign students who wish to join university or college in USA, they must have completed an equivalent coursework to the one that is taught in USA high schools. It is a requirement that the foreign International students are reliant on their own sources or turn to their local governments and organizations in their own country for sponsorship. Graduate students can avail of this by applying for teaching and research assistantships or even for administrative positions. In addition to international students can also apply for fellowships from both state and private universities. Universities that do not have sufficient accommodation on campus have offices to help students find apartments outside the campus and give them information on the local neighbourhood.
Another requirement when students want to join a U.S university is that they must attend what is called undergraduate school or college. This is where they study either for two years to attain a degree known as associate degree, or for four year to attain an undergraduate degree known as bachelor’s degree. This can be for any desired subject or otherwise known as “major”. Most of these undergraduate schools that offer a four-year degree admit even the students who have not yet chosen a major, but all students are required to select a major by their second year at undergraduate school.
Not every student who has completed their undergraduate year can join any university. This is because most of the US universities are competitive, selecting only those students with excellent grades and test scores. Many of these universities the students willing to enrol with them to demonstrate that they have succeeded in their previous school and that they have a potential to do even better in a more advanced level. From small institutions with a few hundred students to large government-supported colleges and universities teeming with thousands of students and from vocational colleges to privately sponsored research institutions, universities in the USA cater for a wide variety of educational needs of overseas students.
Sex education is a subject that still remains controversial in American schools. Many people feel that it should not be taught at schools but almost all children receive some form of it. There are two main ways of how this subject is taught, these are inclusive and abstinence.
Although this subject is taught in one form or another, what students learn differs. The reason for this is because the curriculum is different depending on the state the school is in. Some states have put law in place on what is taught in sex subject lessons, and parents are given an option to opt their children out of this subject and other states leaves it to the school districts to decide what is taught.
Inclusive/ comprehensive form of teaches the students about contraceptives, how to avoid sexually transmitted illnesses while abstinence teaches them how to abstain from premarital sex and usually this form of teaching does not teach them anything about sexual and reproductive health . This is because it is believed that teaching about sex just encourages premarital sex.