A school is an educational establishment designed specifically to offer learning experiences and learning venues for the training of students in particular fields of interest. Most developed countries now have systems of formal public education, which may be either compulsory or optional. In such systems, students undergo a series of elementary schools up to the high school level. There are also private schools in most affluent areas. These schools provide both state-funded and non-state-funded (usually religious) education.
The primary education system typically consists of one school and one faculty member for each grade in a school. Elementary schools usually begin with kindergarten while secondary schools may add grades from grade to the first two. Grades achieved in primary school then transfer to colleges as they reach college entry. The duration of instruction in any school may vary, from one year to three years. Private and parochial schools usually last longer than the typical public school.
Professional schooling refers to instruction provided by professional educators. Such individuals are usually employed by state-funded or -administered community colleges, vocational and trade schools, and other post-secondary educational institutions. Some professionals work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health care institutions. Schooling that falls in this category typically has less emphasis on classroom instructiveness and more on supervised professional experience.
The terms “academic” and “professional” can refer to any educational institution, regardless of whether they receive government support or not. The term “general education” refers to instruction provided in public schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education. It can also be used to describe non-academic activities related to teaching, such as child care, community service, adult education, and athletic programs. Some state constitutions have incorporated the word “general education” into the state constitution. A typical educational program includes learning, studying, literature, history, physical education, and other similar courses.
Another common educational term is “academic degree” or “degrees.” These can be issued in a variety of forms, including certificates, diplomas, degrees, and graduate degrees. An academic degree can be for any academic discipline, including business, law, medicine, nursing, computer science, environmental technology, math, and other technical subjects. In some cases, a person may earn a diploma at the completion of just one school year; others earn their diplomas or degrees throughout a lifetime. There is no limit on how many institutions can offer an individual an academic degree.
Many individuals assume that the terms “school” and “academy” are synonymous. However, the term “school” refers to a physical location that offers instruction and other academic activities. A school can be a physical structure, such as a building, school yard, or a special classroom. It can also be a virtual location, such as an online academy. Online academies can offer a wide range of educational activities, from training to distance education.