Outline of academic disciplines
An academic discipline or field of study is a branch of knowledge and researched as part of higher education. A scholar's discipline is defined by the university faculties and learned societies to which she or he belongs and the academic journals in which she or he publishes research. Disciplines vary between well-established ones that exist in all universities and have well-defined rosters of journals and conferences and nascent ones supported by only a few universities and publications. A discipline may have branches, these are called sub-disciplines. There is no consensus on how some academic disciplines should be classified, for example whether anthropology and linguistics are disciplines of the social sciences or of the humanities; the following outline is provided as topical guide to academic disciplines. Biblical studies Religious studies Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, Aramaic Buddhist theology Christian theology Anglican theology Baptist theology Catholic theology Eastern Orthodox theology Protestant theology Hindu theology Jewish theology Muslim theology Biological anthropology Linguistic anthropology Cultural anthropology Social anthropology Archaeology Accounting Business management Finance Marketing Operations management Edaphology Environmental chemistry Environmental science Gemology Geochemistry Geodesy Physical geography Atmospheric science / Meteorology Biogeography / Phytogeography Climatology / Paleoclimatology / Palaeogeography Coastal geography / Oceanography Edaphology / Pedology or Soil science Geobiology Geology Geostatistics Glaciology Hydrology / Limnology / Hydrogeology Landscape ecology Quaternary science Geophysics Paleontology Paleobiology Paleoecology Astrobiology Astronomy Observational astronomy Gamma ray astronomy Infrared astronomy Microwave astronomy Optical astronomy Radio astronomy UV astronomy X-ray astronomy Astrophysics Gravitational astronomy Black holes Interstellar medium Numerical simulations Astrophysical plasma Galaxy formation and evolution High-energy astrophysics Hydrodynamics Magnetohydrodynamics Star formation Physical cosmology Stellar astrophysics Helioseismology Stellar evolution Stellar nucleosynthesis Planetary science Also a branch of electrical engineering Pure mathematics Applied mathematics Astrostatistics Biostatistics Academia Academic genealogy Curriculum Multidisciplinary approach Interdisciplinarity Transdisciplinarity Professions Classification of Instructional Programs Joint Academic Coding System List of fields of doctoral studies in the United States List of academic fields Abbott, Andrew.
Chaos of Disciplines. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-00101-2. Oleson, Alexandra; the Organization of knowledge in modern America, 1860-1920. ISBN 0-8018-2108-8. US Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. Classification of Instructional Programs. National Center for Education Statistics. Classification of Instructional Programs: Developed by the U. S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics to provide a taxonomic scheme that will support the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity. Complete JACS from Higher Education Statistics Agency in the United Kingdom Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification Chapter 3 and Appendix 1: Fields of research classification. Fields of Knowledge, a zoomable map allowing the academic disciplines and sub-disciplines in this article be visualised. Sandoz, R. Interactive Historical Atlas of the Disciplines, University of Geneva
International Standard Serial Number
An International Standard Serial Number is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, interlibrary loans, other practices in connection with serial literature; the ISSN system was first drafted as an International Organization for Standardization international standard in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for maintaining the standard; when a serial with the same content is published in more than one media type, a different ISSN is assigned to each media type. For example, many serials are published both in electronic media; the ISSN system refers to these types as electronic ISSN, respectively. Conversely, as defined in ISO 3297:2007, every serial in the ISSN system is assigned a linking ISSN the same as the ISSN assigned to the serial in its first published medium, which links together all ISSNs assigned to the serial in every medium.
The format of the ISSN is an eight digit code, divided by a hyphen into two four-digit numbers. As an integer number, it can be represented by the first seven digits; the last code digit, which may be 0-9 or an X, is a check digit. Formally, the general form of the ISSN code can be expressed as follows: NNNN-NNNC where N is in the set, a digit character, C is in; the ISSN of the journal Hearing Research, for example, is 0378-5955, where the final 5 is the check digit, C=5. To calculate the check digit, the following algorithm may be used: Calculate the sum of the first seven digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right—that is, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, respectively: 0 ⋅ 8 + 3 ⋅ 7 + 7 ⋅ 6 + 8 ⋅ 5 + 5 ⋅ 4 + 9 ⋅ 3 + 5 ⋅ 2 = 0 + 21 + 42 + 40 + 20 + 27 + 10 = 160 The modulus 11 of this sum is calculated. For calculations, an upper case X in the check digit position indicates a check digit of 10. To confirm the check digit, calculate the sum of all eight digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right.
The modulus 11 of the sum must be 0. There is an online ISSN checker. ISSN codes are assigned by a network of ISSN National Centres located at national libraries and coordinated by the ISSN International Centre based in Paris; the International Centre is an intergovernmental organization created in 1974 through an agreement between UNESCO and the French government. The International Centre maintains a database of all ISSNs assigned worldwide, the ISDS Register otherwise known as the ISSN Register. At the end of 2016, the ISSN Register contained records for 1,943,572 items. ISSN and ISBN codes are similar in concept. An ISBN might be assigned for particular issues of a serial, in addition to the ISSN code for the serial as a whole. An ISSN, unlike the ISBN code, is an anonymous identifier associated with a serial title, containing no information as to the publisher or its location. For this reason a new ISSN is assigned to a serial each time it undergoes a major title change. Since the ISSN applies to an entire serial a new identifier, the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier, was built on top of it to allow references to specific volumes, articles, or other identifiable components.
Separate ISSNs are needed for serials in different media. Thus, the print and electronic media versions of a serial need separate ISSNs. A CD-ROM version and a web version of a serial require different ISSNs since two different media are involved. However, the same ISSN can be used for different file formats of the same online serial; this "media-oriented identification" of serials made sense in the 1970s. In the 1990s and onward, with personal computers, better screens, the Web, it makes sense to consider only content, independent of media; this "content-oriented identification" of serials was a repressed demand during a decade, but no ISSN update or initiative occurred. A natural extension for ISSN, the unique-identification of the articles in the serials, was the main demand application. An alternative serials' contents model arrived with the indecs Content Model and its application, the digital object identifier, as ISSN-independent initiative, consolidated in the 2000s. Only in 2007, ISSN-L was defined in the
Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans. Archaeology, which studies past human cultures through investigation of physical evidence, is thought of as a branch of anthropology in the United States and Canada, while in Europe, it is viewed as a discipline in its own right or grouped under other related disciplines, such as history; the abstract noun anthropology is first attested in reference to history. Its present use first appeared in Renaissance Germany in the works of Otto Casmann, their New Latin anthropologia derived from the combining forms of the Greek words ánthrōpos and lógos. It began to be used in English via French Anthropologie, by the early 18th century. In 1647, the Bartholins, founders of the University of Copenhagen, defined l'anthropologie as follows: Anthropology, to say the science that treats of man, is divided ordinarily and with reason into Anatomy, which considers the body and the parts, Psychology, which speaks of the soul.
Sporadic use of the term for some of the subject matter occurred subsequently, such as the use by Étienne Serres in 1839 to describe the natural history, or paleontology, of man, based on comparative anatomy, the creation of a chair in anthropology and ethnography in 1850 at the National Museum of Natural History by Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau. Various short-lived organizations of anthropologists had been formed; the Société Ethnologique de Paris, the first to use Ethnology, was formed in 1839. Its members were anti-slavery activists; when slavery was abolished in France in 1848 the Société was abandoned. Meanwhile, the Ethnological Society of New York the American Ethnological Society, was founded on its model in 1842, as well as the Ethnological Society of London in 1843, a break-away group of the Aborigines' Protection Society; these anthropologists of the times were liberal, anti-slavery, pro-human-rights activists. They maintained international connections. Anthropology and many other current fields are the intellectual results of the comparative methods developed in the earlier 19th century.
Theorists in such diverse fields as anatomy and Ethnology, making feature-by-feature comparisons of their subject matters, were beginning to suspect that similarities between animals and folkways were the result of processes or laws unknown to them then. For them, the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was the epiphany of everything they had begun to suspect. Darwin himself arrived at his conclusions through comparison of species he had seen in agronomy and in the wild. Darwin and Wallace unveiled evolution in the late 1850s. There was an immediate rush to bring it into the social sciences. Paul Broca in Paris was in the process of breaking away from the Société de biologie to form the first of the explicitly anthropological societies, the Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, meeting for the first time in Paris in 1859; when he read Darwin, he became an immediate convert to Transformisme, as the French called evolutionism. His definition now became "the study of the human group, considered as a whole, in its details, in relation to the rest of nature".
Broca, being what today would be called a neurosurgeon, had taken an interest in the pathology of speech. He wanted to localize the difference between man and the other animals, which appeared to reside in speech, he discovered the speech center of the human brain, today called Broca's area after him. His interest was in Biological anthropology, but a German philosopher specializing in psychology, Theodor Waitz, took up the theme of general and social anthropology in his six-volume work, entitled Die Anthropologie der Naturvölker, 1859–1864; the title was soon translated as "The Anthropology of Primitive Peoples". The last two volumes were published posthumously. Waitz defined anthropology as "the science of the nature of man". By nature he meant matter animated by "the Divine breath". Following Broca's lead, Waitz points out that anthropology is a new field, which would gather material from other fields, but would differ from them in the use of comparative anatomy and psychology to differentiate man from "the animals nearest to him".
He stresses. The history of civilization, as well as ethnology, are to be brought into the comparison, it is to be presumed fundamentally that the species, man, is a unity, that "the same laws of thought are applicable to all men". Waitz was influential among the British ethnologists. In 1863 the explorer Richard Francis Burton and the speech therapist James Hunt broke away from the Ethnological Society of London to form the Anthropological Society of London, which henceforward would follow the path of the new anthropology rather than just ethnology, it was the 2nd society dedicated to general anthropology in existence. Representatives from the French Société were present. In his keynote address, printed in the first volume of its new publication, The Anthropological Review, Hunt stressed the work of Waitz, adopting his definitions as a standard. Among the first associates were the young Edward Burnett Tylor, inventor of cultural anthropology, his brother Alfred Tylor, a geologist. Edward had referred to himself as an ethnologist.
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An academic or scholarly journal is a periodical publication in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as permanent and transparent forums for the presentation and discussion of research, they are peer-reviewed or refereed. Content takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, book reviews; the purpose of an academic journal, according to Henry Oldenburg, is to give researchers a venue to "impart their knowledge to one another, contribute what they can to the Grand design of improving natural knowledge, perfecting all Philosophical Arts, Sciences."The term academic journal applies to scholarly publications in all fields. Scientific journals and journals of the quantitative social sciences vary in form and function from journals of the humanities and qualitative social sciences; the first academic journal was Journal des sçavans, followed soon after by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences.
The first peer-reviewed journal was Medical Essays and Observations. The idea of a published journal with the purpose of " people know what is happening in the Republic of Letters" was first conceived by Eudes de Mazerai in 1663. A publication titled Journal littéraire général was supposed to be published to fulfill that goal, but never was. Humanist scholar Denis de Sallo and printer Jean Cusson took Mazerai's idea, obtained a royal privilege from King Louis XIV on 8 August 1664 to establish the Journal des sçavans; the journal's first issue was published on 5 January 1665. It was aimed at people of letters, had four main objectives: review newly published major European books, publish the obituaries of famous people, report on discoveries in arts and science, report on the proceedings and censures of both secular and ecclesiastical courts, as well as those of Universities both in France and outside. Soon after, the Royal Society established Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in March 1665, the Académie des Sciences established the Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences in 1666, which more focused on scientific communications.
By the end of the 18th century, nearly 500 such periodical had been published, the vast majority coming from Germany and England. Several of those publications however, in particular the German journals, tended to be short lived. A. J. Meadows has estimated the proliferation of journal to reach 10,000 journals in 1950, 71,000 in 1987. However, Michael Mabe warns that the estimates will vary depending on the definition of what counts as a scholarly publication, but that the growth rate has been "remarkably consistent over time", with an average rates of 3.46% per year from 1800 to 2003. In 1733, Medical Essays and Observations was established by the Medical Society of Edinburgh as the first peer-reviewed journal. Peer review was introduced as an attempt to increase the pertinence of submissions. Other important events in the history of academic journals include the establishment of Nature and Science, the establishment of Postmodern Culture in 1990 as the first online-only journal, the foundation of arXiv in 1991 for the dissemination of preprints to be discussed prior to publication in a journal, the establishment of PLOS One in 2006 as the first megajournal.
There are two kinds of article or paper submissions in academia: solicited, where an individual has been invited to submit work either through direct contact or through a general submissions call, unsolicited, where an individual submits a work for potential publication without directly being asked to do so. Upon receipt of a submitted article, editors at the journal determine whether to reject the submission outright or begin the process of peer review. In the latter case, the submission becomes subject to review by outside scholars of the editor's choosing who remain anonymous; the number of these peer reviewers varies according to each journal's editorial practice – no fewer than two, though sometimes three or more, experts in the subject matter of the article produce reports upon the content and other factors, which inform the editors' publication decisions. Though these reports are confidential, some journals and publishers practice public peer review; the editors either choose to reject the article, ask for a revision and resubmission, or accept the article for publication.
Accepted articles are subjected to further editing by journal editorial staff before they appear in print. The peer review can take from several weeks to several months. Review articles called "reviews of progress," are checks on the research published in journals; some journals are devoted to review articles, some contain a few in each issue, others do not publish review articles. Such reviews cover the research from the preceding year, some for longer or shorter terms; some journals are enumerative. Yet others are evaluative; some journals are published in series, each covering a complete subject field year, or covering specific fields through several years. Unlike original research article
Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work. It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are used to maintain quality standards, improve performance, provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Peer review can be categorized by the type of activity and by the field or profession in which the activity occurs, e.g. medical peer review. Professional peer review focuses on the performance of professionals, with a view to improving quality, upholding standards, or providing certification. In academia, peer review is used to inform in decisions related to faculty tenure. Henry Oldenburg was a British philosopher, seen as the'father' of modern scientific peer review. WA prototype is a professional peer-review process recommended in the Ethics of the Physician written by Ishāq ibn ʻAlī al-Ruhāwī.
He stated that a visiting physician had to make duplicate notes of a patient's condition on every visit. When the patient was cured or had died, the notes of the physician were examined by a local medical council of other physicians, who would decide whether the treatment had met the required standards of medical care. Professional peer review is common in the field of health care, where it is called clinical peer review. Further, since peer review activity is segmented by clinical discipline, there is physician peer review, nursing peer review, dentistry peer review, etc. Many other professional fields have some level of peer review process: accounting, engineering and forest fire management. Peer review is used in education to achieve certain learning objectives as a tool to reach higher order processes in the affective and cognitive domains as defined by Bloom's taxonomy; this may take a variety of forms, including mimicking the scholarly peer review processes used in science and medicine.
Scholarly peer review is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal, conference proceedings or as a book. The peer review helps the publisher decide whether the work should be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected. Peer review requires a community of experts in a given field, who are qualified and able to perform reasonably impartial review. Impartial review of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish, the significance of an idea may never be appreciated among its contemporaries. Peer review is considered necessary to academic quality and is used in most major scholarly journals, but it by no means prevents publication of invalid research. Traditionally, peer reviewers have been anonymous, but there is a significant amount of open peer review, where the comments are visible to readers with the identities of the peer reviewers disclosed as well.
The European Union has been using peer review in the "Open Method of Co-ordination" of policies in the fields of active labour market policy since 1999. In 2004, a program of peer reviews started in social inclusion; each program sponsors about eight peer review meetings in each year, in which a "host country" lays a given policy or initiative open to examination by half a dozen other countries and the relevant European-level NGOs. These meet over two days and include visits to local sites where the policy can be seen in operation; the meeting is preceded by the compilation of an expert report on which participating "peer countries" submit comments. The results are published on the web; the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, through UNECE Environmental Performance Reviews, uses peer review, referred to as "peer learning", to evaluate progress made by its member countries in improving their environmental policies. The State of California is the only U. S. state to mandate scientific peer review.
In 1997, the Governor of California signed into law Senate Bill 1320, Chapter 295, statutes of 1997, which mandates that, before any CalEPA Board, Department, or Office adopts a final version of a rule-making, the scientific findings and assumptions on which the proposed rule are based must be submitted for independent external scientific peer review. This requirement is incorporated into the California Health and Safety Code Section 57004. Medical peer review may be distinguished in 4 classifications: 1) clinical peer review. Additionally, "medical peer review" has been used by the American Medical Association to refer not only to the process of improving quality and safety in health care organizations, but to the process of rating clinical behavior or compliance with professional society membership standards. Thus, the terminology has poor standardization and specificity as a database search term. To an outsider, the anonymous, pre-publication peer review process is opaque. Certain journals are accused of not carrying out stringent peer review in order to more expand their customer base in journals where authors pay a fee before public
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland is a long-established anthropological organisation, with a global membership. Its remit includes all the component fields of anthropology, such as biological anthropology, evolutionary anthropology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, visual anthropology and medical anthropology, as well as sub-specialisms within these, interests shared with neighbouring disciplines such as human genetics and linguistics, it seeks to combine a tradition of scholarship with services including students. The RAI promotes the public understanding of anthropology, as well as the contribution anthropology can make to public affairs and social issues, it includes within its constituency not only academic anthropologists, but those with a general interest in the subject, those trained in anthropology who work in other fields. The Institute's fellows are lineal successors to the founding fellows of the Ethnological Society of London, who in February 1843 formed a breakaway group of the Aborigines' Protection Society, founded in 1837.
The new society was to be'a centre and depository for the collection and systematisation of all observations made on human races'. Between 1863 and 1870 there were two organisations, the Ethnological Society and the Anthropological Society; the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland was the result of a merger between these two rival bodies. Permission to add the word'Royal' was granted in 1907. Individuals seeking full Fellowship status are required to be proposed by current Fellows who know the potential member. Fellowship in the Institute is for notable scholars who have professional or academic achievement in the field of the study of humankind or the social sciences. Fellows are elected by the RAI Council, are entitled to use the honorific post-nominal letters FRAI; the Institute publishes three journals. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Man, is a quarterly journal with articles on all aspects of anthropology, as well as correspondence and a section of book reviews.
The Journal provides an important forum for'anthropology as a whole', embracing social anthropology, biological anthropology and the study of material culture. A Special issue was inaugurated in 2006; the Special Issue appears annually, is guest-edited or single-authored, addresses different themes in anthropology from year to year. Anthropology Today is a bimonthly publication which aims to provide a forum for the application of anthropological analysis to public and topical issues, while reflecting the breadth of interests within the discipline of anthropology, it is committed to promoting debate at the interface between anthropology and areas of applied knowledge such as education and development. Anthropological Index Online was launched in 1997; the Index is an online bibliographic service for researchers and students of anthropology worldwide. Access is free to individual users. Major European and other languages of scholarship are covered, new material is added on a continuing basis; the Indian Antiquary was published under the authority of the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute from 1925-32.
The RAI has a unique reference and research collection comprising photos, films and manuscripts. The photographic library consists of over 75,000 historic prints, lantern-slides and other images, the earliest dating from the 1860s; the photo library illustrates the great diversity and vitality of the world's cultures as well as the history of photographic image-making itself. The RAI is involved in developing ethnographic film and video, as a mode of anthropological enquiry and as an educational resource, it has an extensive collectionn of videos, copies of which are available for sale for educational and academic purposes. Films can be previewed onsite; the archive and manuscript collection spans a period of over 150 years, providing a unique historical record of the discipline and of the Institute itself. Much unpublished textual and visual material entrusted to the RAI over the years is held in the manuscript collection, being conserved and catalogued on a continuing basis. Access to the RAI Collection is free to all RAI Fellows, Student Associates and all undergraduate students by prior appointment.
Others may visit the Collection on payment of an access fee. The RAI has a close association with the British Museum's Anthropology Library, which incorporates the former RAI Library given to the Museum in 1976; the Library is located within the Centre for Anthropology at the British Museum, is Britain's national anthropological library. All may use the Library on site; the Huxley Memorial Medal and Lecture was established in 1900 in memory of Thomas Henry Huxley to identify and acknowledge the work of scientists, British or foreign, distinguished in any field of anthropological research. The highest honour awarded by the Royal Anthropological Institute, it is awarded annually by ballot of the Council; the recipient delivers a lecture, published. The recipients are: The Medal was founded in 1923 by the Council of the Institute in memory of its late President, William Halse Rivers for'anthropological work in the field'. However, in the 1960s the rules were amended to reflect anthropological work in a broader sense.
The Medal shall be awarded for a recent body of work published over a period of five years which makes, as a whole
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, values and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, teaching and directed research. Education takes place under the guidance of educators and learners may 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. Formal education is divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and college, university, or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age. Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin word ēducātiō from ēducō, related to the homonym ēdūcō from ē- and dūcō. Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society.
In pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge and skills from one generation to the next; as cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be learned through imitation, formal education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the Middle Kingdom. Plato founded the Academy in the first institution of higher learning in Europe; the city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in CE 476. In China, Confucius, of the State of Lu, was the country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbours like Korea and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era.
The Aztecs had a well-developed theory about education, which has an equivalent word in Nahuatl called tlacahuapahualiztli. It means "the art of raising or educating a person" or "the art of strengthening or bringing up men." This was a broad conceptualization of education, which prescribed that it begins at home, supported by formal schooling, reinforced by community living. Historians cite that formal education was mandatory for everyone regardless of social class and gender. There was the word neixtlamachiliztli, "the act of giving wisdom to the face." These concepts underscore a complex set of educational practices, oriented towards communicating to the next generation the experience and intellectual heritage of the past for the purpose of individual development and his integration into the community. After the Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole preserver of literate scholarship in Western Europe; the church established cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centres of advanced education.
Some of these establishments evolved into medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe's modern universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School; the medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas of the University of Naples, Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation, Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, the oldest continually operating university. Elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Islamic science and mathematics flourished under the Islamic caliphate, established across the Middle East, extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus in the east and to the Almoravid Dynasty and Mali Empire in the south.
The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly; the European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy, religion and sciences spread out across the globe. Missionaries and scholars brought back new ideas from other civilizations – as with the Jesuit China missions who played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge and culture between China and Europe, translating works from Europe like Euclid's Elements for Chinese scholars and the thoughts of Confucius for European audiences; the Enlightenment saw the emergence of a more secular educational outlook in Europe. In most countries today, full-time education, whether at school or otherwise, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with population growth, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.
Formal education occurs in a structured environment. Formal education takes place in a school environme