A school is an educational establishment designed primarily to offer learning environments and learning spaces for children under the guidance of qualified teachers. Most developed countries now have systems of public elementary education, which can be either compulsory or voluntary. In these systems, children progress from a single school to a series of secondary schools. In some cases, they will continue their education in tertiary schools before completing their secondary education and entering a career. The reasons for wanting to complete this education include pursuing higher education, enhancing employment opportunities, caring for family obligations, or for other reasons that cannot easily be categorized as ‘learning’.
In many countries, the term’school’ refers not to a single educational institution, but instead to a set of junior or middle schools, generally designated as junior secondary, junior high school, or middle school. In the United States, the Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education describes the system of education in schools as ‘academic and vocational’. Academic schools focus on the academic aspects of learning, while vocational schools focus on the non-academic aspects of learning such as the social and personal development aspects of students. While both types of schools provide students with the opportunity to participate in vocational activities, the curriculums of the two types of schools are quite different.
In the United States, the Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education describes the academic school system in schools as ‘academic’. This school system requires students to attain some general academic knowledge and to gain some skill in the areas of science, mathematics, English, and history. Students may also be required to demonstrate proficiency in one or more of these subjects for credit by taking exams. Students in this type of education system may be eligible for associate degree programs in some areas such as business, health professions, engineering, and liberal arts. However, not all students in this school system will be eligible to take such associate degree programs, and students who wish to pursue higher education will need to attend a university that is part of this education system.