A school is a place where people go to learn about topics such as reading, writing and mathematics. In a school or university, one or more teachers help students to learn.[1]

In many places around the world, children have to go to school for a certain number of years. Learning may take place in the classroom, in outside environments or on visits to other places. Colleges and universities are places to learn for students over 17 or 18.[2] Vocational schools teach skills people need for jobs.

Some people attend school longer than others. This is because some jobs require more training than others. For young children, one teacher is able to teach all subjects. Teachers for older students are often specialized and they only teach a few subjects. Common subjects taught include science, arts such as music, humanities, like geography and history, and languages.

Children with mental issues which are difficult to handle are not required to go to regular schools. These children are given other ways to get schooling. There also are special schools which teach things which regular schools do not.

Graduate schools are for students who have graduated from college.

Schools for boys and schools for girls

Education for all is quite modern. In England, for example, most people could not read or write, even in the 18th century. We know this because when they got married, those who could not write put an 'X' on the certificate, and someone else wrote their name. Mass education for reading and writing began in the 19th century.

Even when there was education, in most countries boys were taught differently from girls, and separately from girls. Long ago, most schools were run by religious denominations. That is because clerics were once almost the only people who were literate. Today, most countries have schools which accept both boys and girls. Some places still do not have schools for girls.

School as a place to learn for life

In many parts of the world, schools also help children learn things about life.

  • In school, pupils develop their personality.
  • Schools teach pupils about religion and ethics.
  • Schools help people recognise socially accepted norms and behaviour.

Pedagogy is the science of teaching children. Different schools use different ways of teaching. There is quite a lot of disagreement about what and how students should be taught.[3] Many countries solve this by allowing different types of school, so parents and children have some choice. Choices may include home education.


  1. Sometimes, especially in universities, teachers are called "professors"
  2. In some countries they are also informally called "schools".
  3. Woodhead, Chris 2002. Class war: the state of British education. London: Little Brown. Template:Catalog lookup linkScript error: No such module "check isxn".

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