Europe prides itself for having one of the world’s best and most renowned schooling systems in the world.
European schooling aims for all-round development of a child and his broad-based general education. European schooling ensures that anyone finishing High School should at least have a mastery over the three R’s of education (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.) At the same time, he must have a basic knowledge of a wide variety of subjects like Science, Math, Geography, History, Social Sciences, and also at least one foreign language.
Schooling in Europe is provided free by the governments for those who cannot afford the costs of elite and high-profile private schools. Basic education is also made compulsory in most of the European countries, but the number of years of compulsory education differs from country to country.
Age of beginning school also varies between different EU countries. For instance, U.K. has always been a supporter of early education, and schooling in U.K. becomes compulsory from age 5 onwards, though in many other European countries the threshold age is 6 years for starting schooling.
In recent years there have been changes in the schooling age policy in Europe. Now in some of the EU countries the pre-school policy encourages an increasing number of children of age 4 to join the Reception Classes. The policy also includes introducing 3 and 4 year olds to “Desirable Learning Outcomes”, and in recent times there has been the development of a “Foundation Program” from children aged between 3 to 6 years.
European Schooling has gifted to the world 3 classic approaches for elementary and early childhood education, which are the Montessori Schooling System, the Waldorf System, and the Emilia System. All 3 approaches are recognized the world-over as being strong alternatives to the old and traditional methods of education, and encourage a progressive outlook to reforms in the schooling systems across the world.
The educators under these three approaches of schooling are expected to share a common vision of being the mentors, guides, and nurturers, and not merely as “teachers” in the limited sense of the word. These educators are trained to treat the children with respect, and to listen to and understand their needs and their point of view of things.
Involvement of parents with the school and a partnership between the parents and teachers is the central objective of schooling in Europe. The system clearly believes that for a wholesome and comprehensive upbringing of the child, there must be a common understanding and a common direction between the school and the parents. If there is a dichotomy between the two, then the child will be confused, and he will create a third or a separate direction for himself.
Extra-curricular activities are also an important part of the The European School System. The schools encourage hobbies like making pen-pals with students from other European countries, in order to understand each other’s cultures. They also try to arrange traveling trips for students as well as exchange programs with students of other countries from time to time.