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A school is an
educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and persona ...
designed to provide
learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to "classroom," but it may also refer to an ...
s and
learning environment The term learning environment can refer to an educational approach, cultural context, or physical setting in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to "classroom A classroom or schoolroom i ...
s for the teaching of
student A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries h ...

student
s under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
, which is sometimes compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country (discussed in the ''Regional'' section below) but generally include
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

primary school
for young children and
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where
higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
is taught, is commonly called a
university college In a number of countries, a university college is a college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication ...
or
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
. In addition to these core schools, students in a given country may also attend schools before and after primary (elementary in the U.S.) and secondary (middle school in the U.S.) education.
Kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin com ...

Kindergarten
or
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...
provide some schooling to very young children (typically ages 3–5).
University A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

University
,
vocational school A vocational school is a type of educational institution, which, depending on the country, may refer to either secondary Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to: * Secondary (chemistry), term used in org ...
,
college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

college
or
seminary A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or ...
may be available after secondary school. A school may be dedicated to one particular field, such as a school of economics or dance.
Alternative school An alternative school is an educational establishment with a curriculum and methods that are nontraditional. Such schools offer a wide range of philosophies and teaching methods; some have strong political, scholarly, or philosophical orientati ...
s may provide nontraditional curriculum and methods. Non-government schools, also known as
private schools An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental upright=1.3, alt=A roomful of people, Europe-Georgia Institute head George Melashvili addresses the audience at the lau ...
, may be required when the government does not supply adequate or specific educational needs. Other private schools can also be religious, such as
Christian school A Christian school is a school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high ...
s,
gurukula A or ( sa, गुरुकुल, gurukula) is a type of education system in ancient India with ('students' or 'disciples') living near or with the guru, in the same house. The guru-shishya tradition is a sacred one in Hinduism and possibly ...
(Hindu schools),
madrasa Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental cou ...

madrasa
(Arabic schools),
hawza A hawza ( ar, حوزة) or ḥawzah ʿilmīyah ( ar, حوزة علمیة) is a seminary A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminar ...
s (Shi'i Muslim schools),
yeshiva A yeshiva (; he, ישיבה, , sitting; pl. , or ) is a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards de ...
s (Jewish schools), and others; or schools that have a higher standard of education or seek to foster other personal achievements. Schools for adults include institutions of
corporate training Training and development involves improving the effectiveness of organizations and the individuals and teams within them. Training may be viewed as related to immediate changes in organizational effectiveness via organized instruction, while devel ...

corporate training
,
military education and training Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of armed forces, military personnel in their respective roles. Military training may be voluntary or compulsory duty. It begins with recruit tra ...
and
business school A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in business administration Business administration (also known as business management) is the administration of a commercial enterprise. It includes all aspects of overse ...

business school
s. Critics of school often accuse the school system of failing to adequately prepare students for their future lives, of encouraging certain temperaments while inhibiting others, of prescribing students exactly what to do, how, when, where and with whom, which would suppress
creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, suc ...

creativity
, and of using extrinsic measures such as
grades Grade or grading may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Grade (band), punk rock band * Grades (producer), British electronic dance music producer and DJ Education * Grading (education), a teacher's evaluation of a student's performance in class * ...
and
homework Homework, or a homework assignment, is a set of tasks assigned to student A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environment ...

homework
, which would inhibit children's natural
curiosity Curiosity (from Latin ''wikt:curiositas#Latin, cūriōsitās'', from ''cūriōsus'' "careful, diligent, curious", akin to ''cura'' "care") is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by ...

curiosity
and desire to learn. In
homeschooling Homeschooling or home schooling, also known as home education or elective home education (EHE), is the education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educat ...
and
distance education Distance education, also known as distance learning, is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school A school is an designed to provide s and s for the teaching of s under the direction of teachers. ...
, teaching and learning take place independent from the institution of school or in a
virtual school An online school (virtual school or e-school or cyber-school) teaches students entirely or primarily online and offline, online or through the Internet. It has been defined as "education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to ...
outside a traditional school building, respectively. Schools are organized in several different organizational models, including departmental, small learning communities, academies, integrated, and schools-within-a-school.


Etymology

The word ''school'' derives from Greek '' (''), originally meaning "leisure" and also "that in which leisure is employed", but later "a group to whom lectures were given, school".


History and development

The concept of grouping students together in a centralized location for learning has existed since
Classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, ...
. Formal schools have existed at least since
ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
(see
Academy An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociol ...

Academy
),
ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
(see
Education in Ancient Rome Education in ancient Rome progressed from an informal, familial system of education in the early Republic to a tuition-based system during the late Republic and the Empire. The Roman education system was based on the Greek system Fraternities and ...
)
ancient India According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Quote: "Y-Chromosome and Mt-DNA data support the colonization of South Asia by mod ...
(see
Gurukul A or ( sa, गुरुकुल, gurukula) is a type of education system in ancient India with ('students' or 'disciples') living near or with the guru, in the same house. The guru-shishya tradition is a sacred one in Hinduism and possibly ...

Gurukul
), and
ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...

ancient China
(see
History of education in China History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems are considered ...
). The
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
had an established schooling system beginning at the primary level. According to ''Traditions and Encounters'', the founding of the primary education system began in 425 AD and "... 
military personnel Military personnel are members of the state's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between S ...

military personnel
usually had at least a primary education ...". The sometimes efficient and often large government of the Empire meant that educated citizens were a must. Although Byzantium lost much of the grandeur of Roman culture and extravagance in the process of surviving, the Empire emphasized efficiency in its war manuals. The Byzantine education system continued until the empire's collapse in 1453 AD. In Western Europe, a considerable number of
cathedral schools Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century A century is a peri ...
were founded during the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages ...
in order to teach future clergy and administrators, with the oldest still existing, and continuously operated, cathedral schools being
The King's School, Canterbury The King's School is a public school (English independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, ...
(established 597 CE),
King's School, Rochester The King's School, Rochester, is an English independent school in Rochester, Kent. It is a cathedral school and, being part of the foundation of Rochester Cathedral, the Dean of Rochester serves as chair of the school's governing body. The scho ...
(established 604 CE),
St Peter's School, York St Peter's School is a co-educational Independent school (United Kingdom), independent boarding and day school (also referred to as a Public school (United Kingdom), public school), in the English City of York, with extensive grounds on the ban ...
(established 627 CE) and
Thetford Grammar School Thetford Grammar School is an independent co-educational school in Thetford, Norfolk, England. The school might date back to the 7th century, which would make it one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom. History The school website conjec ...
(established 631 CE). Beginning in the 5th century CE,
monastic school Monastic schools ( la, Scholae monasticae) were, along with cathedral school Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages or Early Medieval Period, sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages (historiography), Dark Ages ...
s were also established throughout Western Europe, teaching religious and secular subjects.
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
was another culture that developed a school system in the modern sense of the word. Emphasis was put on knowledge, which required a systematic way of teaching and spreading knowledge and purpose-built structures. At first,
mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Salah, Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, w ...

mosque
s combined religious performance and learning activities. However, by the 9th century, the
madrassa Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental cou ...

madrassa
was introduced, a school that was built independently from the mosque, such as
al-Qarawiyyin The University of al-Qarawiyyin (; Berber languages, Berber : ⵜⴰⵙⴷⴰⵡⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵇⴰⵕⴰⵡⵉⵢⵢⵉⵏ; french: Université Al Quaraouiyine), also written Al-Karaouine or Al Quaraouiyine, is a university located in Fez, Moroc ...
, founded in 859 CE. They were also the first to make the ''Madrassa'' system a public domain under
Caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state {{Infobox war faction , name = Islamic State , anthem = '' Dawlat al-Islam Qamat'' {{small, ("My Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' ...
's control. Under the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe an ...
, the towns of
Bursa (ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). Ancient Greek wa ...

Bursa
and
Edirne Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the ...
became the main centers of learning. The Ottoman system of
Külliye A külliye ( ota, كلية) is a complex of buildings associated with Turkish architecture centered on a mosque A mosque (; from ar, مَسْجِد, masjid, ; literally "place of ritual prostration"), also called masjid, is a place of worsh ...
, a building complex containing a mosque, a hospital, madrassa, and public kitchen and dining areas, revolutionized the education system, making learning accessible to a broader public through its free meals, health care, and sometimes free accommodation. In Europe, universities emerged during the 12th century; here,
scholasticism Scholasticism was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people ...
was an important tool, and the academicians were called ''schoolmen''. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
and much of the
Early Modern The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of 's past. It is understood through , , , and , and since the , from and s. Humanity's written history was preceded by its , beginning with ...
period, the main purpose of schools (as opposed to universities) was to teach the
Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin language
. This led to the term
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
, which in the United States informally refers to a primary school, but in the United Kingdom means a school that selects entrants based on ability or aptitude. The school curriculum has gradually broadened to include literacy in the vernacular language and technical, artistic, scientific, and practical subjects. Obligatory school attendance became common in parts of Europe during the 18th century. In Denmark-Norway, this was introduced as early as in 1739–1741, the primary end being to increase the literacy of the '' almue'', i.e., the "regular people". Many of the earlier public schools in the United States and elsewhere were
one-room school One-room schools were commonplace throughout rural portions of various countries, including Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western ...
s where a single teacher taught seven grades of boys and girls in the same classroom. Beginning in the 1920s, one-room schools were consolidated into multiple classroom facilities with transportation increasingly provided by
kid hack{{multiple issues, {{no footnotes, date=April 2019 {{one source, date=April 2019 A kid hack was a horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated odd-toed ungulate mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of ...
s and
school bus A school bus is a type of bus trolleybus in Toronto Toronto is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the List of the 100 la ...

school bus
es.


Regional terms

The term ''school'' varies by country, as do the names of the various levels of education within the country.


United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations

In the United Kingdom, the term ''school'' refers primarily to pre-
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
institutions, and these can, for the most part, be divided into
pre-school A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...
s or
nursery school A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...

nursery school
s,
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

primary school
s (sometimes further divided into
infant school An infant school is a term used primarily in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the const ...
and
junior school #REDIRECT Junior school#REDIRECT Junior school A Junior school is a type of school which provides primary education to children, often in the age range from 8 and 13, following attendance at Infant school which covers the age range 5–7. (As both ...
), and
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
s. Various types of secondary schools in England and Wales include
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
s, comprehensives,
secondary modern A secondary modern school is a type of secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education ...
s, and city academies. While they may have different names in Scotland, there is only one type of secondary school. However, they may be funded either by the state or independently funded. Scotland's school performance is monitored by
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) was an executive agency An executive agency is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate, to carry out some part of the executive functions of the ...
.
Ofsted The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is a non-ministerial department Non-ministerial government departments (NMGDs) are a type of department of the Government of the United Kingdom that deal with matte ...
reports on performance in England and
Estyn Estyn is the education and training inspectorate for Wales. Its name comes from the Welsh language Welsh ( or ) is a Brittonic language of the Celtic language family The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages ...
reports on performance in Wales. In the United Kingdom, most schools are publicly funded and known as
state schools State schools (in England, Wales, and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English Scottish English ( gd, Beurla Albannach) is the set of varieties of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic lan ...
or maintained schools in which tuition is provided for free. There are also private schools or
independent schools An independent school is independent in its finances and governance. Also known as private schools, non-governmental, privately funded, or non-state schools, they are not administered by local, state or national governments. In British Engli ...
that charge fees. Some of the most selective and expensive private schools are known as public schools, a usage that can be confusing to speakers of
North American English North American English (NAmE, NAE) is the most generalized variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes ...
. In North American usage, a public school is publicly funded or run. In much of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
, including Australia, New Zealand, India,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania, the term ''school'' refers primarily to pre-university institutions.


India

In ancient India, schools were in the form of
Gurukul A or ( sa, गुरुकुल, gurukula) is a type of education system in ancient India with ('students' or 'disciples') living near or with the guru, in the same house. The guru-shishya tradition is a sacred one in Hinduism and possibly ...

Gurukul
s. Gurukuls were traditional
Hindu Hindus (; ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic re ...

Hindu
residential learning schools, typically the teacher's house or a monastery. During the Mughal rule,
Madrasah Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental cou ...

Madrasah
s were introduced in India to educate the children of Muslim parents. British records show that indigenous education was widespread in the 18th century, with a school for every temple, mosque, or village in most regions. The subjects taught included Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Theology, Law, Astronomy, Metaphysics, Ethics, Medical Science, and Religion. Under British rule, Christian missionaries from England, the United States, and other countries established missionary and boarding schools in India. Later as these schools gained popularity, more were started, and some gained prestige. These schools marked the beginning of modern schooling in India. The syllabus and calendar they followed became the benchmark for schools in modern India. Today most schools follow the missionary school model for tutoring, subject/syllabus, and governance, with minor changes. Schools in India range from large campuses with thousands of students and hefty fees to schools where children are taught under a tree with a small / no campus and are free of cost. There are various boards of schools in India, namely
Central Board for Secondary Education The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a national level board of education in India for public and private schools, controlled and managed by Union Government of India. There are approximately 21,271 schools in India and 220 school ...
(CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), Madrasa Boards of various states, Matriculation Boards of various states, State Boards of various boards, Anglo Indian Board, among others. Today's typical syllabus includes Language(s), Mathematics, Science – Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, General Knowledge, and Information Technology/Computer Science. Extracurricular activities include physical education/sports and cultural activities like music, choreography, painting, and theatre/drama.


Europe

In much of continental Europe, the term ''school'' usually applies to
primary education Primary education is typically the first stage of formal education, coming after preschool/kindergarten and before secondary school. Primary education takes place in primary school, the elementary school or first and middle school depending on ...
, with primary schools that last between four and nine years, depending on the country. It also applies to
secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Education i ...
, with secondary schools often divided between ''
Gymnasiums A gymnasium, also known as a gym, is a covered location for Athletics (physical culture), athletics. The word is derived from the ancient Greek Gymnasium (ancient Greece), ''gymnasium''. They are commonly found in athletic and Physical fitness, ...
'' and
vocational school A vocational school is a type of educational institution, which, depending on the country, may refer to either secondary Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to: * Secondary (chemistry), term used in org ...
s, which again, depending on country and type of school, educate students for between three and six years. In Germany, students graduating from Grundschule are not allowed to progress into a vocational school directly. Instead, they are supposed to proceed to one of Germany's general education schools such as
Gesamtschule A comprehensive school is a public school for elementary aged or secondary aged children (aged approximately 11-18) that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school A selecti ...
,
Hauptschule A ''Hauptschule'' (, "general school") is a secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lowe ...

Hauptschule
,
Realschule ''Realschule'' () is a type of secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary e ...

Realschule
or
Gymnasium Gymnasium may refer to: *Gymnasium (ancient Greece), educational and sporting institution *Gymnasium (school), type of secondary school that prepares students for higher education **Gymnasium (Denmark) **Gymnasium (Germany) **Gymnasium UNT, high ...
. When they leave that school, which usually happens at age 15–19, they may proceed to a vocational school. The term school is rarely used for
tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, ...
, except for some ''upper'' or ''high'' schools (German: Hochschule), which describe colleges and universities. In
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
modern schools (after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
), of both primary and secondary educations, often are combined. In contrast, secondary education might be split into accomplished or not. The schools are classified as middle schools of general education. For the technical purposes, they include "degrees" of the education they provide out of three available: the first – primary, the second – unaccomplished secondary, and the third – accomplished secondary. Usually, the first two degrees of education (eight years) are always included. In contrast, the last one (two years) permits the students to pursue
vocational A vocation () is an occupation Occupation commonly refers to: *Occupation or job, one's role in society, often a regular activity performed for payment *Occupation (protest) As an act of protest, occupation is a strategy often used by social m ...
or specialized educations.


North America and the United States

In North America, the term ''school'' can refer to any educational institution at any level and covers all of the following:
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...
(for
toddler A toddler is a child approximately 12 to 36 months old, though definitions vary. The toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily, like a child ...
s),
kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin com ...

kindergarten
,
elementary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

elementary school
,
middle school A middle school (also known as intermediate school, junior high school, or lower secondary school) is an educational stage Educational stages are subdivisions of formal learning Formal learning is education normally delivered by trained tea ...

middle school
(also called intermediate school or junior high school, depending on specific age groups and geographic region), high school (or in some cases senior high school), college, university, and
graduate school File:CCMDonation49.JPG, Student receives degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City, 2013 A graduate school (sometimes shortened to grad school) is a school that awards advanced academic degrees (e.g., ma ...
. In the United States, school performance through high school is monitored by each state's
department of education An education ministry is a national or subnational government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversigh ...
.
Charter school A charter school is a school that receives government funding but operates independently of the established state school School district, system in which it is located. It is independent in the sense that it operates according to the basic Cha ...
s are publicly funded elementary or secondary schools that have been freed from some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools. The terms
grammar school A grammar school is one of several different types of school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most coun ...
and ''grade school'' are sometimes used to refer to a primary school. In addition, there are tax-funded
magnet school In the U.S. education system, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses Course may refer to: Directions or navigation * Course (navigation), the path of travel * Course (orienteering), a series of control points visited by or ...
s which offer different programs and instruction not available in traditional schools.


Africa

In Western Africa, "school" can also refer to "bush" schools, Quranic schools, or apprenticeships. These schools include formal and informal learning. Bush schools are training camps that pass down cultural skills, traditions, and knowledge to their students. Bush schools are semi-similar to traditional western schools because they are separated from the larger community. These schools are located in forests outside of the towns and villages, and the space used is solely for these schools. Once the students have arrived in the forest, they cannot leave until their training is complete. Visitors are prohibited from these areas. Instead of being separated by age, Bush schools are separated by gender. Women and girls cannot enter the boys' bush school territory and vice versa. Boys receive training in cultural crafts, fighting, hunting, and community laws among other subjects. Girls are trained in their own version of the boys' bush school. They practice domestic affairs such as cooking, childcare, and being a good wife. Their training is focused on how to be a proper woman by societal standards. Qur'anic schools are the principal way of teaching the Quran and knowledge of the Islamic faith. These schools also fostered literacy and writing during the time of colonization. Today, the emphasis is on the different levels of reading, memorizing, and reciting the Quran. Attending a Qur'anic school is how children become recognized members of the Islamic faith. Children often attend state schools and a Qur'anic school. In Mozambique, specifically, there are two kinds of Qur'anic schools. They are the tariqa based and the Wahhabi-based schools. What makes these schools different is who controls them. Tariqa schools are controlled at the local level. In contrast, the Wahhabi are controlled by the Islamic Council. Within the Qur'anic school system, there are levels of education. They range from a basic level of understanding, called chuo and kioni in local languages, to the most advanced, which is called ilimu. In Nigeria, the term ''school'' broadly covers daycares,
nursery schools A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, kindergarten, or play school, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at pri ...
,
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

primary school
s,
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
s and
tertiary institutions Tertiary ( ) is a widely used, but obsolete term for the Period (geology), geologic period from 66 million to 2.6 million years ago. The period began with the demise of the non-bird, avian dinosaurs in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extincti ...
. Primary and secondary schools are either privately funded by religious institutions and corporate organisations or government-funded. Government-funded schools are commonly referred to as public schools. Students spend six years in primary school, three years in junior secondary school, and three years in senior secondary school. The first nine years of formal schooling is compulsory under the Universal Basic Education Program (UBEC). Tertiary institutions include public and private universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. Universities can be funded by the federal government, state governments, religious institutions, or individuals and organisations.


Ownership and operation

Many schools are owned or funded by
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
.
Private school Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United ...
s operate independently from the government. Private schools usually rely on fees from families whose children attend the school for funding; however, sometimes such schools also receive government support (for example, through
School voucher A school voucher, also called an education voucher in a voucher system, is a certificate of government funding for students at schools chosen by themselves or their parents. Funding is usually for a particular year, term or semester. In some cou ...
s). Many private schools are affiliated with a particular religion; these are known as
parochial schools A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education In secular usage, religious education is the teaching of a particular religion (althou ...
.


Components of most schools

Schools are organized spaces purposed for teaching and learning. The classrooms where teachers teach and students learn are of central importance. Classrooms may be specialized for certain subjects, such as laboratory classrooms for science education and workshops for
industrial arts Industrial arts is an educational program which features fabrication of objects in wood or metal using a variety of hand, power, or machine tools. Industrial Arts is commonly referred to as Technology Education. It may include small engine repair ...
education. Typical schools have many other rooms and areas, which may include: *
Cafeteria A cafeteria, sometimes called a canteen outside the U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a ...

Cafeteria
(Commons), dining hall or canteen where students eat lunch and often breakfast and snacks. * Athletic field, playground,
gym A gymnasium, also known as a gym, is a covered location for . The word is derived from the . They are commonly found in athletic and centres, and as activity and s in educational institutions. "Gym" is also slang for "", which is often an are ...

gym
, or track place where students participating in sports or
physical education Physical education, often abbreviated to Phys Ed. or P.E., is a subject taught in school A school is an designed to provide s and s for the teaching of s under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal , which ...
practice * Schoolyards, all-purpose playfields typically in
elementary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

elementary school
s, often made of concrete. * Auditorium or hall where student theatrical and musical productions can be staged and where all-school events such as assemblies are held * Office where the administrative work of the school is done * Library where students ask librarians reference questions, check out books and magazines, and often use computers *
Computer labs A computer lab is a space which provides computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Comp ...
where computer-based work is done and the internet accessed * Cultural activities where the students uphold their cultural practice through activities like games, dance, and music


Education facilities in low-income countries

In
low-income countries Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income. Poverty can have diverse social, economic, and political causes and effects. When evaluating poverty in statistics or economics there are two main measures: ''Absolute povert ...
, only 32% of primary, 43% of lower secondary and 52% of upper secondary schools have access to
electricity Electricity is the set of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by Olivia Newton-John **Physical (Olivia Newton-John song), "Physi ...

electricity
. This affects access to the
internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

internet
, which is just 37% in upper secondary schools in low-income countries, as compared to 59% in those in middle-income countries and 93% in those in
high-income countries A high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a nation with a gross national income per capita of US$12,696 or more in 2020, calculated using the Atlas method. While the term "high-income" is often used interchangeably with "First World" and ...
. Access to basic
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

water
,
sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The ...

sanitation
and
hygiene Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health Health, according to the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies a ...

hygiene
is also far from universal. Among upper secondary schools, only 53% in low-income countries and 84% in middle-income countries have access to basic drinking water. Access to water and sanitation is universal in high-income countries.


Security

The safety of staff and students is increasingly becoming an issue for school communities, an issue most schools are addressing through improved security. Some have also taken measures such as installing
metal detectors A metal detector is an Electronic instrumentation, instrument that detects the presence of metal nearby. Metal detectors are useful for finding metal inclusions hidden within objects, or metal objects buried underground. They often consist of a h ...
or
video surveillance Closed-circuit television (CCTV), also known as video surveillance, is the use of video camera A video camera is a camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπισ ...
. Others have even taken measures such as having the children swipe identification cards as they board the school bus. These plans have included door numbering to aid public safety response for some schools. Other security concerns faced by schools include bomb threats, gangs, and vandalism. In recognition of these threats, the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goal 4 Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4 or Global Goal 4) is about quality education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal ...

Sustainable Development Goal 4
advocates for upgrading education facilities to provide a safe, non-violent learning environment.


Health services

School health services are services from medical, teaching and other professionals applied in or out of school to improve the health and well-being of children and, in some cases, whole families. These services have been developed in different ways around the globe. However, the fundamentals are constant: the early detection, correction, prevention, or amelioration of disease, disability, and abuse from which school-aged children can suffer.


Online schools and classes

Some schools offer remote access to their classes over the internet. Online schools also can provide support to traditional schools, as in the case of the School Net Namibia. Some online classes also provide experience in a class. When people take them, they have already been introduced to the subject and know what to expect. Classes provide high school/college credit, allowing students to take the classes at their own pace. Many online classes cost money to take, but some are offered free. Internet-based distance learning programs are offered widely through many universities. Instructors teach through online activities and assignments. Online classes are taught the same as in-person, with the same curriculum. The instructor offers the syllabus with their fixed requirements like any other class. Students can virtually turn their assignments in to their instructors according to deadlines. This being through via email or on the course webpage. This allows students to work at their own pace yet meet the correct deadlines. Students taking an online class have more flexibility in their schedules to take their classes at a time that works best. Conflicts with taking an online class may include not being face to face with the instructor when learning or being in an environment with other students. Online classes can also make understanding the content challenging, especially when unable to get in quick contact with the instructor. Online students have the advantage of using other online sources with assignments or exams for that specific class. Online classes also have the advantage of students not needing to leave their house for a morning class or worrying about their attendance for that class. Students can work at their own pace to learn and achieve within that curriculum. The convenience of learning at home has been an attraction point for enrolling online. Students can attend class anywhere a computer can go – at home, in a library, or while traveling internationally. Online school classes are designed to fit a student's needs while allowing students to continue working and tending to their other obligations. Online school education is divided into three subcategories: Online Elementary School, Online Middle School, Online High school.


Stress

As a profession, teaching has levels of work-related stress (WRS) that are among the highest of any profession in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States. The degree of this problem is becoming increasingly recognized and support systems are being put into place. Stress sometimes affects students more severely than teachers, up to the point where the students are prescribed stress medication. This stress is claimed to be related to standardized testing, and the pressure on students to score above average. ''See
Cram school A cram school, informally called crammer and colloquially also referred to as test-prep or exam factory, is a specialized school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for th ...
''. According to a 2008 mental health study by the Associated Press and mtvU, eight in 10 college students said they had sometimes or frequently experienced stress in their daily lives. This was an increase of 20% from a survey five years previously. Thirty-four percent had felt depressed at some point in the past three months, 13 percent had been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder or depression, and 9 percent had seriously considered suicide.


Discipline towards students

Schools and their teachers have always been under pressure – for instance, pressure to cover the curriculum, perform well compared to other schools, and avoid the stigma of being "soft" or "spoiling" toward students. Forms of discipline, such as control over when students may speak, and normalized behaviour, such as raising a hand to speak, are imposed in the name of greater efficiency. Practitioners of
critical pedagogy Critical pedagogy is a philosophy of education The philosophy of education examines the goals, forms, methods, and meaning of education. The term is used to describe both fundamental philosophical analysis of these themes and the description or a ...
maintain that such disciplinary measures have no positive effect on student learning. Indeed, some argue that disciplinary practices detract from learning, saying that they undermine students' dignity and sense of
self-worth Self-esteem is an individual's subjective evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, "I am unloved", "I am worthy") as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame. Smith an ...
 – the latter occupying a more primary role in students'
hierarchy of needs Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an idea in psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It i ...
.


In popular culture

Schools are the subject of literature, television and film.


See also

*
Bullying in teaching School A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which i ...
*
Criticism of schooling Anti-schooling activism or radical education reform describes positions that are critical of school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, includi ...
*
Educational technology Educational technology (commonly abbreviated as EduTech, or EdTech) is the combined use of computer hardware, software, and Education sciences, educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. When referred to with its abbreviation, EdTech ...
*
List of colleges and universities by country This is a list of lists of universities and colleges by country, sorted by continent and region. The lists represent education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), v ...
*
List of schools by country This is a list of lists of school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high ...
* List of songs about school * List of television series about school * Mobile phone use in schools *
Music school A music school is an educational institution specialized in the study, training, and research of music. Such an institution can also be known as a school of music, music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department (of a larger inst ...
* School and university in literature *
School bullying School bullying, like bullying upright=1.3, Banner in a campaign against bullying at Cefet-MG Bullying is the use of force, coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat ...
*
School-to-prison pipeline In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, sta ...
*
Student transport Student transport is the transporting of children Biologically, a child (plural children) is a being between the stages of and , or between the of and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a , otherwise known ...

Student transport
*
School uniform A school uniform is a uniform A uniform is a variety of clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are most often worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such a ...

School uniform
*
Teaching for social justice Social justice is the relation of balance between individuals and society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or s ...
*
University-preparatory school A college-preparatory school (usually shortened to preparatory school or prep school) is a type of secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where th ...
* Year-round school


Sources


References


Further reading

* Dodge, B. (1962). Muslim Education in the Medieval Times, The Middle East Institute, Washington D.C. * ''Education as Enforcement: The Militarization and Corporatization of Schools'', edited by Kenneth J. Saltman and David A. Gabbard, RoutledgeFalmer 2003
Review
* Makdisi, G. (1980). On the origin and development of the college in Islam and the West, in Islam and the Medieval West, ed. Khalil I. Semaan, State University of New York Press. * Nakosteen, M. (1964). History of Islamic origins of Western Education AD 800–1350, University of Colorado Press, Boulder, Colorado, Boulder. * Ribera, J. (1928). Disertaciones Y Opusculos, 2 vols., Madrid. * Spielhofer, Thomas, Tom Benton, Sandie Schagen. "A study of the effects of school size and single-sex education in English schools." ''Research Papers in Education'', June 2004:133 159, 27. * Toppo, Greg. "High-tech school security is on the rise." ''USA Today'', 9 October 2006. * ''Traditions and Encounters'', by Jerry H. Bentley and Herb F. Ziegler.


External links

{{Authority control Educational facilities Schools,