Between Austria and Switzerland is the often-forgotten country of Liechtenstein. Despite its small size, it has proven to be prosperous and highly industrialized. Consisting of only 60 miles and a population of approximately 38,000 people, Liechtenstein has a booming economy that is fueled by a large number of small businesses. Not only does the country have a strong economy for its small size, but the system of education in Liechtenstein has also proven to be effective.
Small Class Sizes
Education in Liechtenstein has one of the lowest student to teacher ratios around the globe, at about 10 students per teacher. Class size can have profound effects on learning, particularly during the early years of schooling, as the material learned is foundational for future subjects. Research has also shown that smaller class sizes can improve non-cognitive skills such as self-control, motivation, perseverance and stronger relational skills. These small classes also enable teachers to work more directly with students who may have learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
Students in Liechtenstein often have 4 hours or less of homework per week, while students in the United States frequently have up to 3 hours per night. Yet, one study indicated that students who spent more time doing homework each week often had more academic stress, physical health problems and an overall lack of balance. Thus, instead of giving students hours of homework every night, the education system in Liechtenstein offers students a wide variety of extracurricular activities that can enhance their social skills. This allows students to participate in activities they enjoy, helping to encourage students to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Teachers are Paid Well
In the United States, oftentimes teachers are paid a low wage. Yet, that is not the case in Liechtenstein. Teachers make a minimum of approximately $90,000 per year before taxes and that number only increases depending on the grade level that is taught. Upper secondary education or high school teachers make upwards of $118,000. Due to teachers being paid well, they are often more motivated in their work, and this can make them more effective and invested teachers.
– Sarah Jane Fraser