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A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the supervision of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly 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 for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education.

In addition to these core schools, students in a given country may also attend schools before and after primary and secondary education. Kindergarten or pre-school provide some schooling to very young children (typically ages 3–5). University, vocational school, college or seminary may be available after secondary school. A school may also be dedicated to one particular field, such as a school of economics or a school of dance. Alternative schools may provide nontraditional curriculum and methods.

There are also non-government schools, called private schools. Private schools may be for children with special needs when the government does not supply for them; religious, such as Christian schools, hawzas, yeshivas, 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 and Military education and training.

In homeschooling and online schools, teaching and learning take place outside of a traditional school building

History and Development of SchoolsEdit

The concept of grouping students together in a centralized location for learning has existed since Classical antiquity. Formal schools have existed at least since ancient Greece (see Academy), ancient India (see Gurukul), and ancient China (see History of education in China). The 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 A.D. and "... 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.

Islam 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, mosques combined both religious performance and learning activities, but by the ninth century, the Madrassa was introduced, a proper school that was built independently from the mosque. They were also the first to make the Madrassa system a public domain under the control of the Caliph.

Under the Ottomans, the towns of Bursa and Edirne became the main centers of learning. The Ottoman system of Kulliye, a building complex containing a mosque, a hospital, madrassa, and public kitchen and dining areas, revolutionized the education system, making learning accessible to a wider public through its free meals, health care and sometimes free accommodation.

In Europe during the Middle Ages and much of the Early Modern period, the main purpose of schools (as opposed to universities) was to teach the Latin language. This led to the term grammar school, 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. Following this, the school curriculum has gradually broadened to include literacy in the vernacular language as well as technical, artistic, scientific and practical subjects. Mental Calculations. In the school of S.Rachinsky by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky. Russia, 1895.

Many of the earlier public schools in the United States were one-room schools 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 hacks and school buses.

Many schools are owned or funded by states. Private schools 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 vouchers). Many private schools are affiliated with a particular religion; these are known as parochial schools.

Components Of A Typical School Edit

Schools are organized spaces purposed for teaching and learning. The classrooms, where teachers teach and students learn, are of central importance, but typical schools have many other areas, which may include:

  • Cafeteria (Commons), dining hall or canteen where students eat lunch and often breakfast and snacks.
  • Athletic field, playground, gym, and/or track place where students participating in sports or physical education practice
  • 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 consult and check out books and magazines and often use computers
  • Specialized classrooms including laboratories for science education
  • Computer labs where computer-based work is done and the internet accessed

Discipline Edit

Schools and their teachers have always been under pressure — for instance, pressure to cover the curriculum, to perform well in comparison to other schools, and to 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 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' individual dignity and sense of self-worth—the latter occupying a more primary role in students' hierarchy of needs.

Further readingEdit

  • 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,
  • 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 Jun. 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

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