When it comes to choosing between public school or private school for your child’s education, there are many different factors that you’ll want to take into consideration. Besides the obvious aspects of cost and location, one of the most important differences between public and private schools is the educational curriculum itself. Here are some of the ways that private school curriculum differs from public, and what you can expect from the elementary, middle and high school levels.
- Flexibility in Design By their very nature, public schools are funded by taxpayers and the government; as such, they are held to certain state standards for both curriculum and assessment. Private elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, on the other hand, have more flexibility in what they teach and how they teach it. This can result in better learning for students of all types, rather than a strict schedule to standardized testing that doesn’t always work for every pupil.
- Unique Offerings Additionally, private school curriculum can be concentrated in certain areas, such as the arts, humanities, or technology. Students with a particular aptitude and passion for a particular subject area may find their interests better served at a private school that offers more in-depth subject learning. Public schools, on the other hand, are usually limited to general education and may only provide minimal electives.
- Class Size The number of students in a class can have a large bearing on the curriculum taught. It’s fairly common for college prep schools to have a small student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1, whereas public high schools might average 25:1 or more. Smaller class sizes foster better mentor relationships between student and teacher, as well as peer-to-peer relationships as fostered through the increased opportunities for collaborative class discussion.