Glossary of terms used on this site

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assigning relative importance to each of a group of variables. For example in a subject area one element may be assigned greater importance than others. In an exam weighting may mean that one (valued) part of the exam is given more marks than others. In an evaluation weighting may be given to certain issues above others for example in interview procedures or in entrance requirements.


the happiness contentment and general wellbeing of an individual. Schools are now expected to play a much larger role not simply in issues of personal social and emotional welfare but also in wider issues of social welfare such as sexual health drugs obesity diet.


      the state of being happy healthy and contented. It has recently become a key  student      outcome in many education systems and can be linked loosely to Aristotle's concept of      eudaimonia. Some critics have questioned if it is used with sufficient regard to social       cultural  or ethnic diversity. It certainly seems unlikely that one definition can be found to cover      the range of possible human values it might represent.

whole child

a term used for the educational concern with the personal emotional  and social wellbeing  of children and young people as opposed to merely academic concerns.

whole class teaching

a teaching style where all learners in a class are taught together as a single group by the one teacher. It is often associated with instructivist approaches but need not be conducted in such a style.

whole school

relating to the school at institutional level as opposed to classroom or departmental levels. It may be used of policies or approaches.

work experience

arrangements whereby learners spend a period of time in a workplace. The placement may be related to the course being followed or to learners' interests or may simply be organized to provide some experience of the world of work.


an individual text issued to give learners some instructions or material relating to a task to be attempted

working class

the social grouping originally associated with manual labour but now used in more subtle ways reflecting social divisions in terms of employment economic standing heredity culture and other distinctions.


what is demanded of an individual in the performance of their role. A teacher's workload would include planning preparation teaching and assessment as well as many other administrative duties including recording and reporting. A learner's workload would relate to study attendance at classes completion of assignments and homework. Excessive workload is a major factor in stress.


a page given to learners detailing or providing some activity to be undertaken. The overuse of such an approach is widely criticised partly because of claims that the learner may merely engage in the activities without understanding or thinking being developed. The overuse also leads to all of the problems associated with lack of variation in the classroom. Sometimes worksheets are in use because of shortage of other suitable resources or because of budget concerns.