What is Formal Education? Examples & Advantages

What is formal education?

In the past, as long as the rich could receive a formal education, the classes below them had no right to receive an education. Only when most people cannot make a logical decision due to cultural constraints, the country is more likely to be ruled and judged. By the Middle Ages, high-quality education was built on the basis that you could afford tuition. It means that the children of merchants, nobles, and royal families can get a formal education, while serfs and peasants have no chance to get a formal education.

Today, the situation has changed a lot. Formal education has become an important part of the system and development of the national structure. Education is no longer the exclusive right for the rich; it has become a basic right of most children in the world. In the United States, regardless of the parents’ financial situation, children should receive formal education from the age of six. Although there are private schools for wealthy families, public schools can also accommodate students of all backgrounds. Whether you are studying in a public school or a private school, you have received formal education. But what exactly is formal education?

Definition of Formal Education

Formal education is a structured and systematic way of learning. It is a standardized education provided to students by teachers who have received professional study. To ensure the formal uniformity of student learning content, all learning institutions, such as schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions, must abide by these standards. These formal educational institutions of a country should be managed by one organization.

In the United States, the education department is responsible for the formal education part of all states. However, some school districts and school councils can also supervise some smaller schools and solve problems in some schools. The problem here refers to the daily problems that can be solved through the School Affairs Department and without occupying the Ministry of Education resources.

Besides, formal education is based on class, which means that all the content students learn is books and other educational materials, and their sole purpose is to educate students. Moreover, these teachers should be trained before they can have educational qualifications. On the other hand, since each teacher has his unique teaching style, to ensure that their education and training levels are consistent, students will see the same teacher every day.

In the United States, children 17 and under must receive formal school education, even if the student does not voluntarily. When a child does not come to school for several days, he may be regarded as skipping class. Because this kind of education is compulsory, the school affairs department has the right to send students to the juvenile center or consultation office. If parents fail to fulfill their obligation to send their children to school for learning, such parents will also face severe charges. It will cause negative social impact or fines for the parents of students.

What does Formal Education include?

As we all know, formal education is usually referred to as full-time education by the Ministry of Education and is a continuous process with certain stages. Students have to learn common sense and basic knowledge when they were young. Then they will have formal education under mandatory regulations until the end, and they will learn richer and more complex knowledge. The structure of formal education is divided into four types according to students’ ability to understand information. The four types are preschool, elementary school, middle school education, and post-secondary education. When students complete these courses, they can choose to continue their studies in a certain field. Or you can choose to obtain a degree, professional qualification certificate, recognized certificate, and certificate of completion of adult education courses and enter the society to start work.

  • Preschool

According to the kid’s knowledge reserve level, the first level is divided into preschool, which can also be kindergarten. It is for children under six years old. These schools can be privately operated, or publicly operated institutions funded by the government.

However, in some countries and regions, whether to accept pre-school education is very flexible. The premise is that the children’s parents can ensure that they have reading, writing, and other important skills before the age of six or when they enter elementary school at the age stipulated by the law. Then their children do not need to go to preschool. In the United States, most parents choose to let their children enter kindergarten for education and improve the way they communicate with parents and friends.

  • Primary school

Through the study of elementary school, students will be trained to learn the basic knowledge of reading and comprehension, mathematics, and other basic levels courses.  Apart from this, learn how to express their ideas and communicate with the classmates to lay the foundation for a higher level of study.

  • Middle school

Middle school education here is also called junior high school education and high school education. Students will learn and deal with in-depth knowledge of related subjects in junior high school education. However, high school education focuses more on education related to employment after compulsory education. After students graduate from high school, some of the students will choose to stop studying and start entering society, using the knowledge they have learned to start work. Another part of the students will choose subjects they are interested in for the next step of deep learning.

If it is said that you had to drop out of high school before, then you can take and pass the General Educational Development tests. If you are passing the tests that can prove that you have the academic level and thinking ability of fresh high school graduates. When you pass this test, you also have a high school diploma.

  • Post-secondary school

Any formal education after high school is tertiary education. They are including undergraduate, graduate courses, medical schools, law schools, vocational schools, and community colleges. These educational pathways are usually set up for students who want to work in their professional field. However, some students are interested in some majors and choose these courses to continue their studies.

At this point, you should understand what formal education you have received. The purpose of compulsory formal education for children is to ensure that everyone has enough knowledge and experience to make the right decision for their own lives and can find a suitable job after graduation. Although some jobs do not have high requirements for a diploma, you can apply for such professions as doctors and lawyers that require a college degree or higher. When a child has a diploma or other certificate, he will have a strong competitive advantage in the job market, even if these papers cannot provide them with a guarantee of automatic employment after graduation.

Why Formal Education is Important?

Education is an important part of a person’s life. During the study period, students gradually form a sound personality in the process of acquiring knowledge. It can help them to live better in the future.  On the other hand, formal education is about teaching the content from the book and helping students’ psychological, spiritual, and physical development.

Through professional learning, students will think about various things and have a deep understanding. The people driving the world today take the initiative to understand the complexity of various topics. However, this understanding requires continuous learning. Therefore, systematic learning in schools helps us enhance our sense of competition and encourages us to contribute to the country’s development.

What is the Advantage and Disadvantage of Formal Education?

  • The advantage of formal education 
    • Systematically instill knowledge about technology to students and assist them in exploring their skills.
    • During the study period, cultivate students’ ability to arrange their schedules, which helps them organize their work and life in an orderly manner after entering society.
    • Completing group assignments in school is also a way to cultivate students’ teamwork and social interaction skills. Let students have a sense of teamwork and make their abilities more in line with market employment standards.
    • When students obtain a formal education diploma, it protects their employment. And these students are more likely to accept and learn new technologies and work content.
  • The disadvantage of formal education
    • There are many people with different personalities in the school. Still, the school cannot conduct unified management in time, making it easy for some students to be bullied or isolated by their classmates.
    • Each student’s learning style is different. In this typical course study, students’ specialties may be suppressed.
    • The cost of these educational resources is expensive and may cause a huge burden on some families.

Formal education provides the country with many technical talents. The sound personality established by students during formal education lays the foundation for their future development. Besides, through formal education, students’ abilities are improved. When they enter social work, they will be highly competitive talents.

Also read Types of Education

What is Formal Education? Examples & Advantages

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