7c - Chang Tsai - Cuba

7c - Chang Tsai - Cuba - A Comparison of Cuban Values and...

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A Comparison of Cuban Values and their Education System Cheng Tsai MDS302H April 23, 2002
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In this research report, I will do a comparative analysis between the Cuban education system and the American education system. The emphasis is placed on values, and not so much organizational structure since it is a matter of trivia that children a certain age are called fifth graders, and those a year older are called sixth graders. Such details are let as footnotes, if that. Instead, I shall focus on discussing how the foundation of Cuban cultures, ideals and attitudes shapes how their schools operate, what they teach, their heroes, and the transference to their youth. Before beginning a comparison, it is important to note a direct comparison between American education and Cuban education is difficult because there is a significant gap between each country's wealth. The United States is a $9.963 trillion economic machine with $33,586 GDP per capita, while Cuba is a mere $19.2 billion with $1,669 GDP per capita (Dowling 2001). This means that the United States is significantly more wealthy and thus capable of spending significantly more on education. Yet a comparison can still be made, indicating that money isn't the only important factor. In order to begin making a comparison, some measures of achievement need to be established. It is assumed that the reader is well versed on US achievements and thus those do not need to be reiterated except for reference. One measure of the level and quality of education is the literacy rate. In the United States, 97% of the population is literate by 2001 estimates (Dowling). In Cuba, the literacy rate is 96% (Dowling). For comparison and reference purposes, it is important to note the literacy rates and GDP per capita of another developed country, a random selection of Latin American countries, and Haiti and Guatemala who share similar history to Cuba. The reference for a developed country shall be the United
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Kingdom. Its literacy rate for the year 2001 was 99% and a GDP per capita of $21676 (Dowling). Mexico has GDP per capita $8625 and 90% literacy; Argentina has GDP per capita $9931 and 96% literacy; Columbia had GDP $6176 and 91% literacy; Dominican Republic had $5176 GDP per capita and 82% literacy; Paraguay had $3563 GDP per capita and 92% literacy; finally, Honduras had $2526 and 73% literacy (Dowling). Also note in 2001, Haiti had a GDP per capita of $1340 and a literacy rate of 45%, and Guatemala had an annual GDP per capita of $3790 with a literacy rate of 56% (Dowling). (See literacy vs GDP per capita chart in appendix) The last two countries are referenced because they have had similar history to Cuba. These numbers remind the reader of the strong correlation between GDP and literacy rates and how Cuba shines an exception in its class when compared to other economically limited countries. Keep in mind the literacy rate 40 years ago was only 75% (van Dine). *refer back here when discussing test scores Besides the increasingly literate population, there are other examples of Cuban excellence
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2011 for the course STS 302 taught by Professor Nkriesbert during the Summer '08 term at N.C. State.

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7c - Chang Tsai - Cuba - A Comparison of Cuban Values and...

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