Encyclopedia > Primary education

  Article Content

Primary education

Primary or elementary education describes the first years of formal, structured education that occur during childhood. In most Western countries, it is compulsory for children to receive primary education (though in many jurisdictions it is permissible for parents to provide it).

Primary education generally begins when children are four to seven years of age. The division between primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it generally occurs at about twelve years. Primary and secondary education together are sometimes referred to as K-12 (kindergarten through twelfth grade), especially in Canada and the United States.

Typically, primary education is provided in schools, where (in the absence of parental movement or other intervening factors) the child will stay, in steadily advancing classes, until they complete it and move on to secondary schooling. Children are usually placed in classes with one teacher who will be primarily responsible for their education and welfare for that year. This teacher may be assisted to varying degrees by specialist teachers in certain subject areas, often music or physical education. The continuity with a single teacher and the opportunity to build up a close relationship with the class is a notable feature of the primary education system. Over the past few decades, schools have been testing various arrangements which break from the one-teacher, one-class mold.

The major goals of primary education are achieving basic literacy and numeracy[?] amongst all their students, as well as establishing foundations in science, geography, history and other social sciences. The relative priority of various areas, and the methods used to teach them, are an area of considerable political debate.

Traditionally, various forms of corporal punishment have been an integral part of early education. Recently this practice has come under attack, at least in Western countries.



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Ftp

... FTP traffic using a firewall, since the data connection is made to an apparently arbitary port It is possible to tell a server to send to an arbitrary port of a third ...