Every class has its own fixed classroom where its students take all the courses, except for practical trainings and laboratory work. During elementary education, in most cases, one teacher teaches all the subjects in each class. At public elementary and junior high school, school lunch (kyuushoku) is provided on a standardized menu, and it is eaten in the classroom. Nearly all junior high schools require their students to wear a school uniform (seifuku). A big difference between the Japanese school system and the American School system is that Americans respect individuality while the Japanese control the individual by observing group rules. This helps to explain the Japanese characteristic of group behavior.
The usual school day in Bhutan varies based on the population of the school and whether it is a boarding school or not. Typically, boarding school teachers will have additional duties such as overseeing meals, dorm life and evening study. The school day begins at 8:00 am with the overseeing of “Social work” which is a time for the students to clean the school and campus grounds. Morning assembly follows at about 8:30 am which consists of Morning Prayer, songs, speeches by students and announcements. First period begins at roughly 9:00 am.
There are about seven to eight classes throughout the day, with a break for lunch. After classes each day there are various activities such as club meetings, sports and evening studies. Every classroom has two captains, one male one female, each house has two captains as well, there is a meals captain, sports captain, overall captain, and who knows how many other captains. These students take care of attendance, not just for class but for all scheduled program during the day, they organize many weekend activities, and they take care of all of the details of the school. The teachers teach, attend and oversee many of the activities, but the details are taken care of by the captains. Bhutanese culture is such that these students do get a lot of respect and response from the student body.
Thai culture helps contribute to some intriguing differences. These range from simple things such as shoes not being allowed to be worn in the school buildings to the annual Wai Kru Ceremony where all of the students bow down low in obeisance towards their teachers. They also have quiet hour. Quiet hour is when they sit with their eyes closed facing a statue of Buddha.
In Austria the relationship between students and teachers is quite laid back. The students address their teachers by their first name and they are not required to stand up when a teacher enters the room.
One interesting and very successful aspect of Italian schools is how the entire system works to promote social unity among the students. In public high schools, each class – by law – has two elected representatives, to protect the students’ interests within the institution. Each class may use two class periods per month for a class meeting in which to discuss class business, unencumbered by the presence of teachers. The representatives refer any complaints, troubles, or suggestions to their teacher committee or, if they think they won’t get a fair hearing from their teachers, to the principal.
Class representatives meet regularly with their class’ teacher committee, and once each semester there’s an assembly of all class representatives in the school, headed by a pair of “institutional” representatives elected by the entire student body. Class representatives also attend the biannual parent-teacher meetings. This gives students some direct and useful experience with leadership, representative government, and bureaucracy. The elected leaders learn to deal with authority (we hope in a constructive manner). Class government helps to unite the class: they must act together to find solutions to problems, and elect leaders who can carry through those solutions effectively.
Students address teachers by their Christian names, do not wear uniforms, and are encouraged to relax in their surroundings. Finnish schools don’t assign homework, because it is assumed that mastery is attained in the classroom.