Types of education and institutions
In the World of Avatar, education seems to be an important topic. In the Fire Nation, for example, education is seen to play a significant role in the daily lives of children, especially those of the Upper Class and the Royal Family.
Types of Education Edit
Air Nomads Edit
Little is known of the Air Nomads' education, but given their small population, they likely possessed very few formal schools. Spiritual enlightenment, however, is central to the Air Nomad culture, as all of its members regularly meditate daily. All Air Nomads practiced Airbending regularly, as well. All Air Nomads are taught to value all forms of life, considering it to be sacred, regardless of whether it is good or evil.
Water Tribes Edit
It is possible that the Northern Water Tribe has a number of schools set up within its grand capital city. Besides basic skills such as reading and writing, a warrior's battlefield skills are also highly valued, as the city maintains a fairly large army and armories. Waterbending is also regularly taught, with Waterbenders like Master Pakku instructing and testing male Waterbending students during regular dueling sessions, while female Waterbenders frequently attend healing classes. Due to the North Pole's sexually segregated culture, female Waterbenders are forbidden to learn any Waterbending beyond healing.
Prior to its near-destruction at the hands of the Fire Nation, the Southern Water Tribe possibly hosted regular classes for its students, as the tribe once consisted of several large villages. Like the North Pole, it also regularly taught Waterbending to members of both sexes. Sadly, this art was virtually lost when the Fire Nation killed or captured the entire Waterbender population, except for Katara. With the tribe in ruins, it is likely that all Water Tribe children are taught by their parents at home. Like the North, the South maintains a strong regard for its warrior culture. In spite of the South's dire state and its lack of contact with the outside world, it has been shown that the South's tribesmen are quite literate. This is evidenced when Sokka and Katara have been consistently shown to be capable of both reading and writing without any difficulty.
Earth Kingdom Edit
It can be assumed that education is still important to high-class families in the Earth Kingdom; and it can also be assumed that there is no censoring and that freedom of expression is allowed, unlike in the Fire Nation. The most notable and only known school located in the Earth Kingdom is Ba Sing Se University, where young scholars, seemingly young adults, attend a variety of classes such as anthropology. However, teachings on the War are strictly forbidden in the university, as displayed by Joo Dee when she silenced a student who was asked about the War by Team Avatar. At the peak of the Dai Li's power, public knowledge of the War was forbidden in the city as a whole (although this law was likely repealed with the end of the War and the fall of the Dai Li). Master Yu is the only known Earthbending teacher, though it is highly likely that many more people formally teach Earthbending.
Fire Nation Edit
In the Fire Nation, education is very strict. There are no forms of movement or expression whatsoever, as such actions are considered a threat to the Fire Lord's unquestioned authority. Many common arts such as dancing are thus banned from the school curriculum. There is also very strict censoring to make the students believe that the Fire Nation's war against the other nations is in fact a justified one, as Sozin's official reasoning for the War was to spread his nation's prosperity to others. At the beginning of everyday, the students must stand up and pledge loyalty to the Fire Lord, and promise to serve him for as long as they live. The Fire Nation, also alter events to make it seem as though they are fighting for the greater good. An example of this is when a Fire Nation textbook stated that the Air Nomads had a formal army system, when in actuality, they did not. Education, especially military knowledge, is also valued much for the children of the Royal Family, as shown in Princess Azula and Prince Zuko's case. Many children are expected to eventually become soldiers and officers in the military, fueling the nation's militaristic culture. If not in joining the military the parents of the students, mostly girls, want them to marry into a noble or royal family, as social and political status are held in high regard among the Fire Nation elite.
With the end of the War and the rise of Fire Lord Zuko, it is highly likely that the Fire Nation's education system will undergo significant reforms, such as the banning of harsh punishments and propaganda in Fire Nation textbooks and lifting the ban on freedom of expression. Having witnessed the true nature of the war firsthand, Fire Lord Zuko's aim is to restore ties with the war-torn world, and this will require an extensive reevaluation of what has been taught in the Fire Nation for nearly a century of imperialism.
Notable Educators Edit
Notable Educational Institutions Edit
- Ba Sing Se University
- Fire Nation School
- Royal Fire Academy for Girls
- Master Yu's Earthbending Academy