Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

a term in Freudian psychology for the innate instinctive impulses of the individual (see ego superego).


in philosophy any theory which stresses the mental ideas over matter and so opposed torealism and materialism. An extreme form is that only ideas exist and all reality is a product of the mind.


a system of ideas and beliefs that informs and shapes an understanding of the world especially in the socio-political sphere.

idiot savant

a French term for a person who has a mental disability or learning difficulties but is extremely gifted in a particular way or who (occasionally) displays natural wisdom or insight.


      see social imaginary


an approach to foreign language learning which involves exclusive use of the language often for an intensive period and sometimes involving little direct teaching.

immersive learning

(1) an approach which involves a great deal of learner autonomy, in respect of resources, activities, and objectives. It is thus aligned to self-directed learning and to discovery learning but most commonly in group activity; (2) learning which involves role play, simulations, often within virtual environments.


the effect or influence of some person or thing. In education, it is most commonly used with reference to the effect of a piece of research, typically on policy or practice.


expressing a command compulsory essential. As a noun it is also used to mean something which must be addressed or attended to: thus an imperative facing a school or education authority might be to achieve a balanced budget.


suggested assumed or implied without being directly expressed or stated (see explicit).


development or change (especially in performance) that meets with approval. In education it is particularly associated with gains made by an individual learner as measured by assessment tests. It is however notoriously difficult to determine the key causal factors which contribute to such improvement.

in loco parentis

a Latin legal term meaning 'in the place of the parents'. In educational contexts it refers to the role of teachers in assuming the duties and responsibilities of a parent towards young people in their charge.

in-service training

planned job-related activities or courses aimed at the development of professional knowledge and skills.


in educational contexts   the process or fact of increasing  the participation of all learners within the system as a whole  or within the curriculum culture and community of particular establishments. Most commonly it involves developing or offering a single form of educational provision for all learners - regardless of ability. Thus learners who would previously have been sent to separate institutions for a variety of reasons are included within one overall set-up. There may continue to be specialist institutional provision for those with particularly pronounced needs but the assumption is that all learners will be provided for within the one system. This brings with it certain challenges relating to resources staff expertise class sizes and equality - trying to balance the needs of the individual with the common good. More broadly  inclusion can relate to  similar issues of participation and equity relating to race culture language ethnicity social class wealth gender age disability sexual orientation.

independent school

a school typically fee-paying which is privately run as opposed to one run by the state. InEngland such schools are unhelpfully termed public schools in Scotland  private schools.

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