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U.S. Can Learn From Successes of Polish Education System 'U.S. Can Learn From Polish Education System'

The United States could learn a thing or two from schools in Poland.

According to an article in USA Today, Poland now has the fourth-highest number of higher-education students in Europe, behind the U.K., Germany and France. Reading has also become an asset, more so than in the U.S., U.K., Germany or France. Poland also is in 19th place in mathematics and has produced some of the brightest talent in the technology field. 

"Our curriculum is mostly based on the effects of education — not just what students know but what they can do, and how they can use their knowledge practically," said Ewa Dudek, Poland's undersecretary of state for education. Dudek said Poland's success comes from allowing students more scope for feedback on their education.

After the fall of communism, the country's entire school system had to be rebuilt. Under the revamped system, the article said, primary school lasts six years, followed by three years of a new comprehensive lower secondary school before a decision is made on whether to send a student to vocational training. Knowledge -- reading, writing and 'rithmetic -- is valued above technical skill. Foreign languages, especially English, became a key component. In 2000, only 1 percent of kids received four hours or more of language classes. By 2006, that figure was 76 percent.

"Despite the cracks, Poland's educational system is an example to most other countries, and proof that it's not just money that makes good students," the article said. 

Read the full story.

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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