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What Is Primary Education?

Primary education, also called elementary education, is for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Primary education provides students with a basic understanding of various subjects as well as the skills they will use throughout their lives. Read on to discover more on what primary education is.

What Is Primary School? Primary Education Definition and Basic Information

Primary school levels range from grade 1 to grades 4-7, depending on the state and school district policies. Primary education provides students with fundamental skills that will be the foundation for the rest of their academic careers. Every state government in the United States regulates primary education, according to the United States Department of Education. Some states also supervise the curriculum, processes and standards of elementary schools to ensure students receive a quality education regardless of the school they attend. Most states require children to receive a primary education to learn basic concepts. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), providing children with this education has many positive effects, including:

  • Decreasing poverty
  • Decreasing child mortality rates
  • Encouraging gender equality
  • Increasing environmental concern

Primary education instructors teach students subjects like:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Language Arts
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Music

Important Facts About This Field

Careers in the Field Teachers, administrators, special education workers
Specialized Programs Advanced programs available in certain settings
Continuing Education High school diploma; post-secondary schooling
School Environment Public and private schools provide educational alternatives
Median Salary (2018) $57,980 (for all kindergarten and elementary teachers
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (for all kindergarten and elementary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those pursuing a career as a primary education teacher will need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in elementary education. In some states, aspiring primary education teachers may be required to specialize in a specific academic area, such a science, English or the arts.

Lifetime Skills

Primary education institutions provide children with some of their first opportunities to meet people from different religions, races and socioeconomic statuses, as well as people with different disabilities. Therefore, elementary school teachers have a unique chance to teach children about tolerance and respect.

Students are taught basic lifetime skills like reading, writing, spelling, interpersonal communication and concentration, according to the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Elementary school students also learn good study habits including:

  • Time management
  • Multi-tasking and organization
  • Short and long-term planning
  • Test Preparation

Primary Education Tools

Some primary education instructors teach several different subjects to a group of students, so they must constantly keep students engaged in learning. According to the BLS, elementary school teachers use several different tools to teach children and keep their attentions including:

  • Games
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Computers
  • Artwork

Skills Required

As a primary education teacher, having excellent communication skills is crucial - this will help you present materials and class work to your students in a manner they can easily understand. Interpersonal skills can also help when communicating with parents and their child's academic progress.

Due to working with young children, being patient is critical in helping those of different backgrounds and learning capabilities. Having good physical stamina is also beneficial, as much of your time will be spent on your feet, tending to children's emotional, mental and physical needs.