Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 1025 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
mission statement

a formal summary of the aims and values of an organisation. In education local authorities  institutions and smaller bodies such as departments may have such.

mixed ability

a teaching group which represents a range of ability. It also is used to describe approaches to school organisation where learners are organised so that classes are composed of pupils representing a range of abilities (see banding setting streaming).


a device to aid memory particularly one where a phrase is created using the initial letters of the thing to be memorised. Every good boy deserves favour - for the notes on the scale EGBDF Richard of York gave battle in vain - for the colours of the rainbow Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo and Violet. The more striking the phrase the more likely the memory will last.


teaching by example where the teacher or other learner in that role demonstrates the intended outcome process or practice with the aim that learners will imitate this or base their own performance on it.


in education this most commonly refers to the process of standardising assessment decisions aiming at consistency and fairness.


a  term used for philosophical political and social outlooks originating in the Enlightenment which have in common a commitment to science and its methods to rationalism and an expectation of continuous human development and improvement as a result.


a discrete unit of work in a programme of study. It will typically be coherent in terms of topic and have associated assessment task(s).


checking or supervising especially in relation to standards or performance


a term from the work of Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) referring to any approach which does not permit a range of views but holds to 'one simple truth' authoritarian (see dialogic).

Montessori method

an approach to early education developed by Maria Montessori (1870-1952) which emphasises natural expression and learning through the senses.


an acronym for 'massive open online course'. This phenomenon began to flourish from around 2008 and involves online academic courses designed for mass participation through open access on the internet. Part of their attraction lies in that most are freely available and that some prestigious institutions have become involved. Few involve any form of assessment and their value remains questionable, although any long-term expansion could pose a challenge to the status and authority of the university system.

Aliases (separate with |): mooc

the study of or beliefs about what is considered right and wrong and the nature of goodness (see ethics).


a term from psychology which refers to the factors which activate or maintain certain behaviours. It is of key interest in education as it has an effect on learning and on learners' success (see extrinsic  intrinsic)


involving many different cultural ethnic racial social and religious groups. It may be used descriptively of a society community institution or educational approach or programme.


a term from early 20th century education in England and Wales for a comprehensive state secondary school which served as the common school for an area. Similar schools in Scotlandwere known as omnibus schools.

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