Education is growing and renewing itself over the years, in all senses of the word.. There are more and more specializations, different course formats, more options when it comes to studying… In this article we explain what are the 17 types of education that exist.
We will do so according to four classification parameters: context, educational level/age (within formal education), content and format. We will explain what each of these types of education consists of and what their main characteristics are.
The types of education that exist (and their characteristics)
Thus, as we have already mentioned, the 17 types of education that exist and that we are going to discuss in this article can be organized according to different classifications; that is, according to different criteria or parameters. Here are four parameters (discussed at the beginning).
1. According to context
If we look at the criterion of context, we find three types of education: formal (formal), informal and non-formal. The characteristics of each of these are described below.
Formal (formal) education
The first of the 17 types of education we are going to explain is formal education. Formal education is that which is regulated or official. It takes place in educational centers (schools, universities…), and has a number of characteristics.
To begin with, its content and methodology is regulated (by law), organized and planned (it follows a pre-established order).
In addition, it is an intentional education; that is, there is an intention behind it, which is to ensure that the people who receive such education acquire certain competencies and/or are trained professionally.
On the other hand, once a course or courses of formal education (e.g. ESO) is completed, the person receives a certificate.
In this other type of education, unlike the previous one, there is no intention as such; that is, it is education and learning that develops throughout life, and is acquired spontaneously through experience or different situations.
For example, it is the education given by parents to their children. Sometimes it is a type of education that we receive without even realizing it, unconsciously.
1.3. Non-formal education
Non-formal education, on the other hand, is a type of education that is organized and intentional, but not regulated by law. In other words, it is outside the formal sphere.
The certificates provided by this type of education would not have as much value as certificates issued by formal education centers, at least at the professional level.
2. According to age and educational level
Other types of education that exist are those that have to do with age and educational level. Thus, within formal education, in turn, we find other types of education. Formal education follows a series of stages that people go through if they want to go to university, for example.
In Spain, this type of education is regulated by the Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (LOMCE). Formal education in Spain is compulsory until the age of 16 (Primary Education [EP] and Compulsory Secondary Education [ESO]).
Thus, we are going to see the different types of education that exist within formal education:
2.1. Early childhood education
This is the first stage of childhood (the preschool stage); it is not compulsory and runs from 0 to 5 years of age. At this stage, children may first attend kindergarten (nursery school) and from the age of 3, school (P3, P4 and P5).
2.2. Primary education
Primary education is the second stage of formal education. It takes place from the age of 6 to 12. This is where education is already compulsory in Spain.
Secondary education, also known as ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education), as its name suggests, is also compulsory. It goes from the age of 12 to 16. It consists of 4 school years. The knowledge it includes is of different branches: mathematics, languages, sciences…
2.4. Post-compulsory secondary education
The next type of education is post-compulsory education. In Spain it includes the baccalaureate (composed of 2 courses, and of different types: scientific, health, technological and artistic) and intermediate vocational training (FP).
VET covers many professional categories, and is much more practical in nature than the baccalaureate.
2.5. Higher education
Finally, there is higher vocational training (VET) and university degrees (bachelor’s degrees). There are a large number of university degrees.
2.6. Post-university education
Once university studies (degree or bachelor’s degree) have been completed, it is possible to continue studying, which implies further specialization. In this case we are talking about masters, postgraduate and doctoral degrees (the highest level of formal education).
According to content
If we look at the criterion of content, we also find different types of education that exist in practically all countries. Let us look at the most important ones (although there are many more):
3.1. Social education
This is a type of education focused on the development of a person’s autonomy, self-determination and sociability. In addition, social education is a university degree and a profession.
3.2. Emotional education
In this case, the content of this type of education is the emotions: that is, their management, regulation, identification, etc. It includes topics such as: conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, self-control, emotional self-regulation, etc.
3.3. Education in values
This is education focused on ethics and morals, emotional health, decision making, respect for others, freedoms and justice, etc.
3.4. Music education
In this case we are talking about the teaching of music and all the elements that are part of it (sound, rhythm, different instruments, etc.).
3.5. Physical education
The next of the 17 types of education that exist and that we can find is physical education. That is to say, the one that teaches how we can use our body to do sports, improve our physical condition, etc.
4. According to the format
The third and last parameter that we are going to follow to classify the 17 types of education that exist is the format. That is to say, the format indicates whether it is a face-to-face, online or blended education.
4.1. Face-to-face education
Basically, it is the type of education that takes place in classrooms (schools, universities, teaching centers, etc.). The student goes directly to class and receives the teaching given by the teacher. This is the “classic” format in education in general, and especially in formal education.
4.2. Online education
The next of the 17 types of education that exist is distance education; it takes place, for example, through Internet videos, online classes, a virtual campus, etc. It is a type of education that is more convenient and offers greater freedom to the student.
4.3. Blended learning
Finally, blended learning combines the two previous formats: face-to-face and online. In this case, for example, these are courses in which you must attend class in person a minimum number of times to obtain the course certificate, and which are combined with the use of virtual material and “virtual” (online) classes.