What Is Education?

Education refers to the process of teaching and developing knowledge. In the United States, education consists of both required and elective programs from preschool to adult education. Continue reading to find more in-depth information regarding education.

Types of Education

In the formal sense, education is structured learning. From children to adults, students receive their education mainly through classroom instruction. Technological aids, such as online and distance education, are common methods for collegiate education. The five main areas of education are contained in the following list:

  • Preschool education
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
  • Post-secondary education
  • Continuing education

Important Facts About Education

Online Availability Accessible at all levels
Prerequisites Each level typically requires completion of the preceding levels
Programs Available in the private and public sectors
Educational Environments Private and public schools; charter schools; playground and nursery settings; institutions for higher education

Preschool Education

Preschool education, or early childhood education, provides a structured learning environment for children under five. Also called nursery school, preschool education is designed to prepare children for elementary school by teaching them the basics of reading, writing and math.

Elementary Education

Elementary education encompasses grades one through eight. Elementary education continues to develop basic skills while also introducing students to other subjects, such as history, science and health education. In all 50 states, attending elementary school is mandatory. In some cases, parents might elect to provide home schooling for their children.

Secondary Education

The four years of high school following completion of primary education is called secondary education. In most states, secondary education consists of grades 9 through 12; in others, secondary education might start as early as grade 6. Secondary education further develops social skills while also preparing students for college or, through vocational courses, a trade occupation.

Post-secondary Education

Upon completion of secondary education, many people choose to pursue post-secondary education by attending college. Degree programs in specific areas of study prepare college students for a particular career. For some, post-secondary education might extend beyond a 2- or 4-year degree, leading to a graduate or doctoral degree.

Continuing Education

In most cases, continuing education refers to study beyond the academic programs offered by colleges and universities. In some careers, continuing education is a requirement to retain professional licensure or certification. Continuing education might consist solely of classroom instruction, or it could combine classroom teaching with seminars, online instruction or workshops.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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