Throughout the World of Avatar, formal education is a central aspect of society. The importance of learning is especially emphasized among the upper class of the Fire Nation, and to a lesser extent, by some people in Ba Sing Se.[3]

Types of education

Air Nomads

Spiritual enlightenment was central to the Air Nomad culture, as all of its members regularly meditated, in addition to practicing airbending. Furthermore, they were taught to value all forms of life and considered it to be sacred, regardless of whether it was good or evil.[4] For children, there existed the Air Scouts, an organization that taught young Air Nomads several useful skills, such as how to tie proper knots around the horns of a sky bison.[5]

Water Tribe

Healing hut

Healing huts are used in the Northern Water Tribe to teach young girls how to heal using their waterbending abilities.

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 armory.[6] Waterbending is also regularly taught, with waterbenders like Master Pakku instructing and testing male waterbending students during regular dueling sessions, and female waterbenders frequently attending healing classes. Prior to the end of the Hundred Year War, female waterbenders in the North were forbidden from learning any techniques beyond healing.[7]

Prior to its near-destruction at the hands of the Fire Nation, the Southern Water Tribe hosted regular classes for its students, as the tribe once consisted of several large walled villages. Unlike the North Pole, it also regularly taught waterbending to members of both sexes,[8] and gender discrimination was not an issue for budding benders. Sadly, this art was virtually lost when the Fire Nation killed or captured the South Pole's entire waterbender population, except for Katara.[8] 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, the South's tribesmen are quite literate, as Sokka and Katara were capable of both reading and writing without any difficulty.[4]

Earth Kingdom

Ba Sing Se University

Ba Sing Se University is a highly renowned institution of higher learning in the Earth Kingdom.

One of the most renowned institutions in the Earth Kingdom is Ba Sing Se University,[1] where young scholars attend a variety of typical college-level classes such as anthropology. However, during the Conspiracy of Ba Sing Se, teachings on the Hundred Year War were strictly forbidden in the university, as displayed by Joo Dee when she silenced a student who was asked about the conflict 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.[9]

Fire Nation

Fire Nation school afar

A Fire Nation school was visited by Aang in 100 AG.

In the Fire Nation, education was strict during the Hundred Year War and was often oriented toward the ultimate goal of indoctrinating the student population in the country's politics. There were few forms of personal expression, as such actions were considered a threat to the Fire Lord's unquestioned authority during the War. Many common arts such as dancing were thus omitted from the school curriculum. There was also very strict censoring to make the students believe that the Fire Nation's war against the other nations was in fact a justified one, as Sozin's official reasoning for the Hundred Year War was to spread his nation's prosperity to others. At the beginning of every day, the students must stand up and pledge loyalty to the Fire Lord, promising to serve him for as long as they live. The Fire Nation also altered certain aspects of historical events to make it seem as though they were fighting for the greater good. For example, a school textbook stated that the Air Nomads used military force to repel Fire Nation attacks, although the society had no such organization.[2] The authorities also fostered the impression that Fire Nation history began with Sozin's ascension, as Sozin had forbidden all knowledge of their history prior to his reign to be shared with the people.

Education, especially military knowledge, is also valued for the children of the Fire Nation Royal Family, as shown in Princess Azula and Prince Zuko's case.[10]

Notable educators

Notable educational institutions


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Library". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (September 28, 2007). "The Headband". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  3. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 26, 2007). "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Shown throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender by Aang.
  5. Avatar Extras for "The Warriors of Kyoshi" on Nicktoons Network.
  6. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 18, 2005). "The Waterbending Master". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 9, 2007). "The Puppetmaster". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 8. Nickelodeon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (September 22, 2006). "City of Walls and Secrets". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  10. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (May 12, 2006). "Zuko Alone". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  11. 11.0 11.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part Two (May 30, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  12. 12.0 12.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (May 5, 2006). "The Blind Bandit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  13. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (February 25, 2005). "The Southern Air Temple". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  14. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (June 3, 2005). "The Storm". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  15. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 14, 2012). "Welcome to Republic City". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  16. 16.0 16.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Promise Part One (January 25, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  17. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Education in the World of Avatar

  • When's the proper age to stop going to school?

    5 messages
    • In the time of Avatar, at least the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom may have a school system similar to the one(s) in the real world. As for ...
    • Hard to say, we've never really seen a lot about schooling in the Avatar world ouside of a few cases. From what I can tell, in ...