Education is the process of facilitating learning , or the acquisition of knowledge , skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training , and directed research . Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational . The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy .
Education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten , primary school , secondary school and then college , university , or apprenticeship.
A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations . In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age.