Physics teacher compares British, American schools in faculty meeting

By Michael Rothberg

Physics teacher Joe Dangerfield discussed his observations from teaching at Harvard-Westlake at a faculty meeting this week.

Dangerfield participated in a teacher swap between Harvard-Westlake School and Eton College, a boarding school in England, during which science teacher Karen Hutchison spent a year teaching at Eton while Dangerfield taught at Harvard-Westlake.

“I’ve been most struck by the similarities the schools have in common,” Dangerfield said.

He said that both schools seemed really similar in their tight-knit student communities, devotion to education and strong student teacher relations.

“The students and teachers have genuinely been above and beyond my expectations,” Dangerfield said.

He also noted some differences between the United States and Great Britain. Dangerfield said the US focused more on school-issued exams whereas England tended to put more weight on government-issued ones. The US, Dangerfield said, had a larger overall breadth of education, whereas in England, students must declare an area of interest as early as junior year of high school.

He concluded by saying that the “single most important thing to a school is the teachers,” which were very skilled at both Harvard-Westlake and Eton.