Education is an integral part of the human experience, so some form of schooling has existed since the beginning of human history. Eventually, formal education--the practice of grouping students together under the tutelage of an experienced instructor--began to develop. Historians are not sure when the first formal school was created, but they do know that schools for training scribes existed in Sumer as early as 3500 BC.
Schools for the teaching of the humane arts (rhetoric, logic, philosophy, etc.) existed in Rome, Greece, India, and China during the classical period (which began in the 8th century BC). In c. 387 BC, the philosopher Plato founded the Academy in Athens. Historians believe Plato's Academy was the first institution of higher learning in the West and thus the precursor to the modern university educational model.