Gymnasium (school)

Stiftsgymnasium Melk, the oldest continuously operating school in Austria

A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern and southern Europe.

The word "γυμνάσιον" (gymnasion) was first used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men. The latter meaning of a place of intellectual education persisted in many European languages (including Greek, German, Russian, the Nordic languages, Dutch and Polish), whereas in English and Spanish the former meaning of a place for physical education was retained instead, more familiarly in the shortened form gym.

School structure

The gymnasium is a secondary school which prepares the student for higher education at a university. They are thus meant for the more academically minded students, who are sifted out at about the age of 10–13. In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a gymnasium often study Latin and Ancient Greek.

Some gymnasiums provide general education, while others have a specific focus. (This also differs from country to country.) The four traditional branches are:

Curricula differ from school to school but generally include literature, mathematics, informatics, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, art (as well as crafts and design), music, history, philosophy, civics/citizenship,[note 1] social sciences, and several foreign languages.

Schools concentrate not only on academic subjects, but also on producing well-rounded individuals, so physical education and religion or ethics are compulsory, even in non-denominational schools which are prevalent. For example, the German constitution guarantees the separation of church and state, so although religion or ethics classes are compulsory, students may choose to study a specific religion or none at all.

Today, a number of other areas of specialization exist, such as gymnasiums specializing in economics, technology or domestic sciences. In some countries, there is a notion of progymnasium, which is equivalent to beginning classes of the full gymnasium, with the rights to continue education in a gymnasium. Here, the prefix pro- is equivalent to pre-, indicating that this curriculum precedes normal gymnasium studies.

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Gimnaziya
беларуская: Гімназія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гімназія
български: Гимназия
bosanski: Gimnazija
català: Gymnasium
čeština: Gymnázium
dansk: Gymnasium
Deutsch: Gymnasium
español: Gymnasium
Esperanto: Gimnazio
français: Gymnasium
한국어: 김나지움
հայերեն: Գիմնազիա
hrvatski: Gimnazija
Bahasa Indonesia: Gimnasium (sekolah)
עברית: גימנסיה
ქართული: გიმნაზია
қазақша: Гимназия
Latina: Gymnasium
lietuvių: Gimnazija
magyar: Gimnázium
Nederlands: Gymnasium
norsk: Gymnasium
norsk nynorsk: Gymnas
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Gimnaziya
polski: Gimnazjum
português: Ginásio (escola)
română: Gimnaziu
русиньскый: Гимназия
русский: Гимназия
shqip: Gjimnazi
Simple English: Gymnasium (school)
slovenčina: Gymnázium
slovenščina: Gimnazija
српски / srpski: Гимназија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Gimnazija
suomi: Lukio
svenska: Gymnasium
українська: Гімназія
中文: 文理中学