Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition
learning community

an organised grouping working together to increase knowledge skills and understanding

learning curve

the rate of progress by a learner in a new situation or in new skills. A steep learning curve indicates that high demands are made on the learner that much needs to be understood quickly.

learning difficulty

a problem encountered in acquiring knowledge or skills especially related to  mental disability or cognitive disorder.

learning needs

support required in a situation by a learner to enable them to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills.

learning outcomes

the aims or objectives of a learning experience usually expressed in a list of the knowledge behaviours or attitudes expected to be possessed or displayed by the learner at the end.

learning partner

anyone serving as a support or peer in a learning activity.

learning society

an idealistic political term for the phenomenon whereby everyone in society would be engaged in and committed to learning throughout life. It is heavily linked to economic interests it being most associated with improving and upgrading  skills for work.

learning style

the (preferred) way in which an individual typically receives and processes new information. Sometimes it is considered in a fixed way and teachers are encouraged to adapt teaching to this others see the role of teachers as aiding the development of a range of effective learning strategies rather than playing to a learner's fixed and perhaps restricting 'style'.

learning support

extra help for pupils either in the form of specialist teaching support or in the form of specially designed resources. While sometimes targeted at those excelling in a particular area it is most commonly linked to efforts to improve the performance of learners who are not progressing well.

leaving age

the age at which an individual may leave compulsory education.

left wing

descriptive of socialist or radical political views.

liberal education

a term for a broad general education without any emphasis on training for a particular purpose or job where the aim is more to offer exposure to a range of subjects and activities including culture and the arts.

liberal studies

(a course of) arts subjects such as literature history philosophy.


in politics a range of views which focus on individual freedom free trade and moderate social reform. In education it is an approach which favours broadening general knowledge cultural activities   and experience over technical or utilitarian training. Socially it is a term associated with more permissive and broadminded attitudes which came into prominence in the 1960s.


a version of liberalism which gives most importance to the concept of free choice. There should be a minimal state guaranteeing protection against force or theft but otherwise people should be free to do as they wish.

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