Comparing Two Educational Systems – Term Paper

Education is handled with different styles in different countries; each country accounts for its top performers at the end of every academic year. There is a need to assess the differences between different education systems; this helps one to know which education policies are the best. Making a comparison between the education system among the two countries helps to indicate which system is most favorable and efficient in the process of imparting knowledge to students. Taking, for instance, the United States education system in comparison with Canada’s education system, using the PISA’s International Outcomes of Learning Mathematics Literacy and Problem solving as a comparison tool. This tool offers a comparison of the highest grades between the two countries (Bayrakdar, Deniz, Akgün, & Isleyen, 2011). Below is an outlook of the differences in education performance between the United States and Canada and the factors that contribute in making one education system superior to the other.

Performance in Learning mathematics literacy and problems solving of 15-year-olds in the United States recorded an average of 498 points as compared to the 496 points recorded by OECD countries. The girls performed better than boys by an average of 31 points. In science literacy, an American 15 Year old scored 497 points as compared to the 501 points in OECD counties with girls performing better than boys by 2 points. On the other hand, Canada is performing better than the United States, an average 15 year old Canadian student scored 523 points as compared to the 496 points in OECD countries (Ada, 2016). In science literacy, 15-year-old Canadian’s scored a 525 compared to the 501 average in OECD countries. Based on the above statistics, it is seen that Canada is performing better than the United States in both mathematics and science literacy, it should be noted that Canada has a very small portion of low performing students as compared to the United States. Another reason is that students in Canada have equal access to healthcare and social services as the gaps between the rich, and the poor is insignificant. The consistency in teaching methods across Canada and the curriculum makes the performance through the country at the same level. Comparing the above factors with the United States accounts for the disparity in performance between these two countries (Bayrakdar, Deniz, Akgün, & Isleyen, 2011).

The United States records the highest percentage of students who attended pre-primary education for more than one year with a 64% attendance mark making it number 1 out of 39 countries compared. Canada on the other end had a 40% attendance on pre-primary education for one year or less rating them at number 8 out of 64 countries compared (Ada, 2016). This is an indicator that the United States give more attention to early childhood education as compared to Canada. Canada has the highest turn around figures of post-secondary students due to their high performance in school as compared to the US which on average has a bigger percentage of low performing students. The United Sates government has a cumulative expenditure in the education of $115961 on the education of every 6 to 15-year-olds; this ranks them at 5/39. The Canadian government expenditure is not provided. Considerably the US government spends a lump sum of cash in education (Ada, 2016).

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I would prefer to teach in the Canadian education system due to the great job security and the unionization of teachers; there is more chaos in the US teaching industry. On the other hand, the United Sates has better paid teachers, averaging $55,693 annually, while teachers in Canada earn approximately C$50890 annually (“Comparing Canada and the U.S. on Education”, 2016).  The PISA report is highly useful in the analysis of student performance among students in different countries. The PISA system analyses, student performance in sciences and mathematics, comparisons of performance and socio-economic status, performance and diversity, and finally the government expenditure on education. The system takes in different external factors that generally affect all students and performance hence making the PISA tool a perfect tool for analyzing student performance.


Ada, S. (2016). Looking for PISA 2012 problem solving indices in terms of different countries. International Journal Of Innovative Research In Education, 32.

Bayrakdar, Z., Deniz, D., Akgün, L., & Isleyen, T. (2011). Problem solving approaches of mathematics teacher candidates in PISA 2003. Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences, 15, 3334-3337.

Comparing Canada and the U.S. on Education. (2016). Education Week – The Futures of School Reform. Retrieved 3 September 2016, from

Why Canadian and U.S. education systems are so different. (2016). The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 September 2016, from