Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition
secondary education

schooling provided for those beyond primary school age. One distinguishing feature from the primary school is the increased use of subject specialists and of timetabling according to such. Attempts to move towards a more integrated  cross-curricular approach have largely been unsuccessful although this can feature in the early stages of secondary.

secondary source/data

in research any document or material which is the reporting of as first-hand account (orprimary source)

secondment

the temporary transfer of an employed person to another position of employment institution or organisation. In education a typical example would be from a school to a local authority role or from a teaching role to a position within some educational organisation.

sectarianism

bigoted adherence to a factional viewpoint. As it is most commonly used in a religious context the word has been more precisely defined as narrow-minded beliefs that lead to prejudice discrimination malice and ill-will towards members or presumed members of a religious denomination.

sector

in education it refers to a distinct part or branch such as the primary sector or the independent sector. Education is itself a sector of government and is part of the public sector as opposed to the private sector.

secular

not pertaining to anything religious spiritual or sacred related to nonreligious subjects. While atheistic means denying the existence of God  secular simply means not dealing with such matters and is thus more neutral.

segregation

the separation of or separate provision for people of different gender class religious racial ethnic or other groups usually in the form of discrimination.

selection

the process by which learners are admitted to an educational institution on the basis of criteria or standards usually in the form of an attainment test. It is widely practised in private schools but has not been in favour in the state system for some time although elements of it have been re-introduced in England. Tertiary education tends to use it as the norm.

selective schools

educational establishments where entry is based on some standard (usually an academic test) which means that some applicants are accepted and others rejected.

self-concept

an idea of the self based on the beliefs one holds and the responses of others.

self-efficacy

confidence and belief in one's capacity to perform and succeed. It is specific to context and not global.

self-esteem

confidence in one's worth or abilities self-respect.

self-evaluation

judging one's own performance whether at an individual group or institutional level. It is seen by many as a more effective approach for schools than that afforded by externalinspection.

self-fulfilling prophecy

a prediction that causes or influences itself to become true causing something to happen by believing it is true. In education an example would be a belief that certain individuals will not perform well in school which may bring itself about in fact if relevant individuals believe it sufficiently as to affect their beliefs motivation and action (see Pygmalion effect).

self-governing

of a school in the state sector in England which is not under local authority control (see grant-maintained).

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