Secondary Education

Secondary Education

In the United States, secondary education comes after primary education and before collegiate, post-secondary or university studies. This refers to junior high or middle school and high school.

While each district sets its own schedule, junior high or middle school usually starts with grade 6 or 7, and last until the end of grade 8 or 9. High school picks up where junior high leaves off, and lasts until the end of 12th grade.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at secondary education. We’ll review the different types of secondary schools available, which classes are usually required, and how important this stage of education is when looking at a student’s academic career.

A Big Change

For many students, the transition from primary school to secondary education is a difficult one. Although they may love the freedom and new atmosphere, it’s often a bit unnerving as well. In primary school, students often spend the entire day with a single teacher. In their transition to secondary education, they’ll encounter a brand new system for the first time. This is the system in which each subject is taught by a different teacher, and students move between classrooms at the sound of each bell.

While some students find this transition hard, it’s important to remember that they’re adjusting to a system of schooling which will help them in later life. All of their future education will be based on this system, and so adjustment is essential.

Many junior highs have reported that a homeroom is a great way to ease this transition. Students having trouble transitioning to the secondary education atmosphere seem to adjust more easily when they can come to the same homeroom each morning when they get to school.

Types of Secondary Schools

Secondary Education

Although a public secondary education environment is most common, there are a few other options. For example, students who are blind or deaf often attend specialty schools during their primary education years. When the time comes for secondary education, they may be transitioned into a public school, or their parents may choose to have them attend specialized institution of secondary education.

Another option is a privately (or government-) funded secondary education environment for children gifted in a certain area. Science and math are the most common fields for these enrichment schools.

The US military offers other options for members’ children. These schools offer kids the chance to be around others in the same situation. Often military children miss out on social activities because of frequent moves, and it is believed that this type of secondary education can give them a more stable environment.

Benefits of Secondary School

Secondary school prepares children for the adult world of education. Junior high prepares them for high school, and high school prepares them for college. When these adjustments are made in stages, it is believed that children adjust more quickly and with the least amount of confusion.

Secondary school also gives kids the opportunity to make mistakes. Junior high grades, for example, don’t count for much (if anything) when it comes to college applications. If a child receives a few poor grades while transitioning from a primary education environment, it won’t impact their academic success as it would during high school.

Common Core Subjects

In a typical secondary education environment, several subjects are considered to be essential for a well-rounded education. Today’s schools are striving to offer students more choices, and so the school your child attends may offer many more elective classes than in years past. However, core requirements have remained essentially the same.

English, math, science, history and (usually) a foreign language are considered essential for a well-rounded junior high education. These same classes follow a student into high school, but at more advanced levels.

Four years of English are usually required for secondary education graduation, with each year becoming more advanced. Beginning in the 11th grade or junior year of high school, many students have the option to take advanced placement or “AP” classes, which are more difficult and count toward college credits as well as high school credits.

In order to graduate from secondary education, a typical student must complete (with a C average) three years of math courses. These can include pre-algebra, algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus.

In the area of science, the most common secondary education offerings are biology, chemistry, and physics. Progressive schools have begun offering science courses which are more interesting to the typical secondary education student, such as anatomy, geology, astronomy, environmental science and forensic science. In most schools, three science credits are required for graduation.

Social sciences also require three credits for graduation. Popular options include world history, economics, US history, government, criminal justice, sociology and psychology.

In order to graduate from secondary education, most districts require at least two years of physical education. However, due to the increased awareness of overweight young people, many schools districts are exploring making four credits of physical education necessary for graduation.

Some schools require a foreign language for graduation, while others offer languages as electives. Popular choices at the secondary education level are Spanish, French and German. Many schools (especially private Catholic schools) offer Latin. Progressive schools are beginning to offer languages such as Chinese, Greek and Arabic. If a student wishes to study a language which is not offered, many local colleges can classes.

How Important is Secondary Education?

In addition to preparing students for the real world, secondary education sets the groundwork for a student’s college acceptance. The freshman, sophomore and junior years are especially vital, since these years are viewed by acceptance boards when applying to colleges and universities.

While a student shouldn’t miss out on the fun and activities which secondary education has to offer, they must also realize that they’re preparing for their future. A good balance between work and recreation must be established early in their secondary education career.

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