The following is an experience written by Christopher, a newly returned Peace Corps Volunteer in Guyana specializing in Education. I thought it would be cool thing to see how education is perceived in another country. Enjoy!

Teaching in Guyana was an experience I couldn’t have anticipated.  Of course there are certain universal characteristics to teaching no matter where you are in the world, nevertheless it was the unexpected challenges I faced in a particular culture I was exposed to that made teaching overseas such a fascinating and unique experience.

We know that students all over the world love affection and at a young age, children soak up education and affection at a seemingly endless rate. In Guyana, I was exposed to such an appetite for learning at the primary school level that every time I returned to a classroom, the students were out of their seats with eagerness to learn something new.  It did not matter whether a teacher was teaching or sitting idle, students wanted to learn.  If I visited a classroom where the teacher did no work at all, the students would be wide-eyed and ready to experience something new: anything different from the memorization schemes they repeat every day.  Comparatively, if I visited a very skilled teacher who used a variety of teaching methods, her children would still be jumping up and down in anticipation.  So what is the big deal?

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Who is one of the top countries in the World education-wise? Finland. How do they do it? Shorter school days, less homework, as little measuring and testing as possible, and a flexible curriculum. Say What?!  In the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, Finland placed third in mathematics, second in science literacy, and second in reading.  With Asian countries, like South Korea and Singapore, being Finland’s only real rivals—and the way they teach is more of a learn-it-or-die approach which would only make the Finns cringe.  The United States on the other hand placed around average on its science and mathematics scores and 15th in reading.  Wa-Wa-Waaaaa.

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