Public schools in America are pretty standardized nowadays, so much so that we sometimes don’t even know everything that goes into the public school system. There are two main forms of education in the required public school system in America. These are identified primarily and most commonly as primary education and secondary education.
High school is not considered primary education. High school is one form of secondary education, which occurs after primary education. The most common forms of secondary education are middle school and high school, from about age 12 to 18.
Since you’ve most likely heard the terms primary and secondary education before, you may think that’s all there really is to it, but this is not the case. There are actually quite a few different types of primary education, and same for secondary education, as well as different material that is expected to be covered throughout both. Keep reading to understand what makes high school secondary education, and what is considered to be primary education.
High School is Not Considered Primary Education
High school is usually a typically three to four year schooling, and is not considered to be primary education. [source]
High School is Considered to be Secondary Education
High school is considered to be a form of secondary education. Secondary education is intended to build on what students learn in primary education, or in other words, it is secondary to primary education, which is important for building a foundation for the rest of one’s schooling.
What Ages does Secondary Education Comprise?
The age range that makes up the students involved in secondary education is roughly twelve years old to eighteen years old, or when the child becomes an adult.
Types of Secondary Education Other Than High School
So you know that high school is secondary education, what else is there to know? Well, let’s find out.
Other Forms of Secondary Education
Contrary to popular belief, high school is not the only form of secondary education, though it is the most commonly known and addressed.
Other forms of secondary education are middle school, preparatory school, and sixth form colleges. Let’s dive in.
- middle school
Middle school is also a form of secondary education. Middle school (three years), or junior high (two years), typically covers ages twelve to fourteen on average. Middle school or junior high is where adolescents are usually first introduced to the concept of having multiple teachers for different subjects, and where they are given a bit more freedom than they were before.
- preparatory school
Preparatory schools have a stigma about them, but they are really just another form of secondary education. Preparatory schools are the private form of public middle school and high school. [source]
- sixth form college
Lastly, there is third form of secondary education which is identified as sixth form colleges. Like AP classes in high school, sixth form colleges are essentially high schools with all AP classes. They prepare students for college, but do not take the place of high school. [source] Students who can participate in sixth form colleges must be at least sixteen years of age; additionally, the typical age range for sixth form college students is about 16 to 18. [source]
What Is Considered to be Primary Education?
Primary education is any educational experience that precedes secondary education. For some, this type of education can begin very early. For typical US students, primary education usually begins at around four or five years of age. Let’s see what really makes up primary education.
What Ages does Primary Education Comprise?
The age range that makes up the students involved in primary education is roughly four years old to eleven years old. Therefore, primary education actually takes more time to get through on average than secondary education does. This is due to the role primary education plays in a child’s academic progress and development. Primary education must be done with care, and the topics covered in it must be mastered, as they pave the way for the rest of the child’s education.
Types of Primary Education
Now that you’ve at least begun to understand the value of primary education, let’s explore the different ways it can be presented. In other words, what does primary education look like? You’re about to find out.
Is Elementary School the Only Form of Primary Education?
Elementary school is not the only form of primary education. Primary education can take the form of preschool, early music programs, enriching and educational daycare experiences, etc.
Does Preschool Count as a Form of Primary Education?
Preschool absolutely does count as a valid form of primary education. [source] The reason that some people do not view it as education is because preschool is typically thought of more as a daycare, somewhere you send your four year old to go play while the big kids are at school.
Preschool is actually quite an enriching form of primary education. Even more important than just the most basic math and reading skills a preschool child will develop is their social, communication, and problem solving skills that will begin to appear.
Children who attend a preschool where they are challenged to think deeply for their age, and ask questions have a jumpstart on their life and school skills.
From Primary Education to High School
The big idea in primary education is that it prepares you for secondary schooling, like high school.
High school is designed to prepare you for the real world, and for further schooling, for students who are college bound. So, primary education indirectly prepares you for your adult life, which might sound strange, with all the arts and crafts that kindergarteners do.
Since primary education can really make or break the rest of your motivation and confidence in the public school system, it is important to ensure that students are invested from the beginning. Habits that kids develop in early years of school will only be amplified and reinforced as they get older. Make sure your child is forming good habits, that will help them succeed in their secondary education years, their high school years.