Ideal Education System
Looking at cashew's fics sorta kinda reminded me of a fic I read (reread, actually) recently, in which we're introduced to some Japanese OC's (not students, thankfully) in a mainly Hogwarts fic. Naturally, the "original" stuff (and not just the Japanese stuff) is all trumped up versus the topics that Hogwarts had. This in turn reminded me of a thread on SD.net, also somewhat recently, which talked about Japanese education, it's pros and cons and stuff.
So basically, for Japan and I guess most far Asian education systems, you have a teaching method that emphasizes on rote memorization, obedience and a complete unquestioning of authority. In Japan in particular you also have an emphasis on uniformity, conformity, and cooperation - working within the structure/company/system/school etc. Cirricula are usually set by a central system for a large region if not the whole country, and all kids are forced to learn it.
For western... well, American, I guess, you have a system that emphasizes critical thinking, questioning, experimentation/hands on stuff, and individuality. You also have very varied levels in different schools and regions. There's also a larger margin for slackers and underachievers, if we believe census reports concerning grades of different countries.
Obviously, neither is 'better', per se. But they both have good points and bad points. And there's also other good ideas or bad ideas that might not be mentioned. So I was thinking, and I wanna throw the question out there: What kind of system do you think would bring the best of (both) all worlds together? Say, for a child that's just entering grade/middle school who's pretty much a blank slate in all ways that matter where it comes to education.
What kind of courses *should* the child be required to take (again, idealistically) for such a grade/middle school? Ethics and morality? Philosophy and logic? All the hard sciences? Language classes that emphasize certain classical works? History (when and where)? Sports? Music/Arts? (Note we're not talking college here, so there probably wouldn't be any topic-specific classes like "Socrates" or "Advanced OChem". These should be classes that set good fundamental skills and knowledge.)