What is Secondary Education?

In most countries, secondary education includes grades 5 through 12, while some consider secondary education to be the high school years, grades 9 through 12 correspondingly. Secondary education is defined according to the discretion of the school district. Not all school districts mandate students complete a secondary education, but the inspiration is often set in motion to do so.

Secondary education prepares a student to go on to higher education or a vocational career that can be put to use right out of high school. The secondary education students are required to complete a set of core courses. The core courses generally include English and Literature, Math, such as Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry and Calculus, Ancient and Modern history, Science, such as Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Social studies, Health and Physical education.

Instructors in secondary education usually specialize in a specific subject. Secondary education offers a variety of learning environments, while students are classified according to their ability.

Public high school is the most common form of secondary education. Classes range from 30 to 90 minutes in duration, and students typically report to a different classroom for each class. Some of the classes are taken on a daily basis while some may be only held 2 to 4 days a week.

To qualify for secondary education status, students must meet general educational requirements in English, Science, Social studies, Math and Foreign languages. Within the secondary education systems, students are allowed the flexibility to choose specific subjects such as Calculus to meet Math requirements and Spanish to meet foreign language requirements.

Secondary education also includes elective subjects such as Arts, Music, Technology or Vocational in nature. Most secondary education environments offer honors or advanced placement classes for students who require or desire more challenging class work. Each class comes with the appropriate number of credits, and in order to graduate students must accrue a certain number of credits. A certain number of credits are required in order to move from the current grade to the next one.

There are options to secondary education that exist in most school districts including vocational or technical environments, religion based studies, performing arts and college preparation schools. These types of schools help a student focus on particular educational philosophies, methods or skill developments, as well as fulfilling general course requirements. For example, performing arts schools will include a vigorous dance class music or theater while alternative schools will offer smaller classes and specialized training. Vocational environments will include general course requirements along with specialized training in Carpentry, Auto mechanics, Graphic design or Computer technology.  There are also residential secondary education facilities that allow students to live in dormitories and study and learn in an environment similar to colleges and universities.

Secondary education has a direct impact on a student’s future. The program is intended to prepare the student for the further education or career. It is sometimes the last years of formal education a student will receive before going out into the world.

Every student is entitled to an education until a certain age, and that age is determined by law and the policy of the school district. Attending a secondary educational curriculum is allowed regardless of the student’s educational ability. Over the years, secondary education has changed in philosophy and goals. It has gone from a demand for general educational skills to a more specific training. At one time, secondary education students were divided into college-bound, vocational, business and general education classifications. Secondary education was, at one time, confined to wealthier families who could afford to pay the costly tuitions, until laws were passed that guaranteed a no-cost public education for all.