Glossary

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A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
  • DEFINITION

    Selection or classification of students for schools, classes, or other educational programs based on differences in ability or achievement.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    The field of education is confronted with widely varying forms of demand and target groups. The massive spread of education is a reality, no less in the North than in the South, even though school enrolment rates sometimes still differ very markedly. Unification of the formal arrangements for basic education has also tended to diversify school intake and to make the task of teaching in most schools more complex. In this context, ability grouping in schools may seem an option based on a fairly rational organizational approach (Gamoran et al., 1995) and on the educational assumption that, by grouping similar students together, it will be easier to ensure that their needs are properly met (Dupriez, 2010: 24).

  • DEFINITION

    The annual teaching or examination period during which students attend courses or take final examinations, not taking minor breaks into account. It may be shorter than 12 months but would typically not be shorter than 9 months. It may vary for different levels of education or types of educational institutions within a country. This is also referred to as the ‘school year’, mainly for the pretertiary level.

    UIS. International Standard Classification of Education, ISCED 2011. Montreal: UIS, 2012.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Flexible schooling and curriculum programmes can balance the time for schooling with children’s work schedules, allow the academic year to vary according to the work season and compensate for class time lost with independent modules or with ‘summer’ school, while adopting a curriculum that reflects children’s interests, needs and sociocultural realities (UNESCO, 2008: 119)

    UNESCO. Education for All by 2015: will we make it? EFA global monitoring report, 2008. Paris: UNESCO, 2008.

  • DEFINITION

    Access to education includes: on-schedule  enrolment  and  progression  at  an  appropriate  age, regular  attendance,  learning consistent with national achievement norms, a learning environment that is safe enough to allow learning to take place, and opportunities to learn that are equitably distributed (Lewin, 2015: 29).

    Lewin, Keith M. Educational access, equity, and development: planning to make rights realities. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 98. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2015. 

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Where the quality of learning and teaching varies widely, and where it is rationed by price or by other factors that constrain access, it is important to ensure that improvements in access to education are equitable and do not increase learning opportunity for some at the expense of others. Enhanced equity is an essential condition of an expanded vision of access (Lewin, 2015: 38).

    Lewin, Keith M. Educational access, equity, and development: planning to make rights realities. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 98. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2015.

     

  • DEFINITION

    Accountability is a process, aimed at helping actors meet responsibilities and reach goals. Individuals or institutions are obliged, on the basis of a legal, political, social or moral justification, to provide an account of how they met clearly defined responsibilities.

    UNESCO. Accountability in education: meeting our commitments; Global education monitoring report, 2017/8. Paris: UNESCO, 2017.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Where officers feel a sense of accountability, organizations tend to function better. Efforts to strengthen accountability may be counterproductive, however, if officers feel isolated and unsupported. Unfortunately, few ministries have developed a genuine staff development programme and nor do they incite their staff members to take personal initiative in this regard. De-professionalization and demotivation of the civil service is a real risk, if the strengthening of external accountability is not accompanied by efforts towards professional development (De Grauwe, 2009: 16).

    De Grauwe, Anton. Without capacity, there is no development. Rethinking capacity development. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2009.

  • DEFINITION

    Recognition and approval of the academic standards of an educational institution by some external, impartial body of high public esteem.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    In general, states are more likely to attach high stakes to performance for teachers, schools, and districts than for students. However, in 22 states, the consequences for both students and teachers/ institutions are significant. For students, they can involve nonpromotion from grade to grade, or failure to obtain a high-school diploma. For teachers they can mean salary supplements or a decision to terminate an appointment as principal. For schools, they can mean loss of accreditation (Kellaghan, 2001: 39).

  • DEFINITION

    Performance on standardized tests or examinations that measure knowledge or competence in a specific subject area. The term is sometimes used as an indication of education quality within an education system or when comparing a group of schools.

    UNESCO. Education for All by 2015: will we make it? EFA global monitoring report, 2008. Paris: UNESCO, 2008.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Because reading is so fundamental to overall literacy and the learning of the other subjects, poor reading performance is an obstacle, in itself, to secondary school academic achievement and further education (OECD, 2009: 116).

  • DEFINITION

    Academic performance disparity (as measured by educational indicators such as grades, graduation rates, standardized test scores, college admission, course selection) between or among student groups. The groups may be defined by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, English language proficiency, gender, geographic location, etc.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Radio and television programming can improve learning and narrow achievement gaps for disadvantaged children, particularly those in isolated or underserved settings (UNESCO, 2014: 291).

  • DEFINITION

    Achievement tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills students learned in school or to determine the academic progress they have made over a period of time. The tests may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a schools and teachers, or identify the appropriate academic placement for a student—i.e., what courses or programs may be deemed most suitable, or what forms of academic support they may need. Achievement tests are “backward-looking” in that they measure how well students have learned what they were expected to learn.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    However, the school feeding programme in Bangladesh, which has operated since 2002 in chronically food-insecure areas, has been evaluated and shown to be effective. In addition to increased enrolment and completion rates, improvements in achievement tests were recorded by children receiving fortified biscuits, after controlling for other factors. Participating children in grade 5 scored 15.7 percentage points overall above non-participating children (UNESCO, 2008: 124).

  • DEFINITION

    Education specifically targeted at individuals who are regarded as adults by their society to improve their technical or professional qualifications, further develop their abilities, enrich their knowledge with the purpose to complete a level of formal education, or to acquire, refresh or update their knowledge, skills and competencies in a particular field. This also includes what may be referred to as ‘continuing education’, ‘recurrent education’ or ‘second chance education’.

    UIS. International Standard Classification of Education, ISCED 2011. Montreal: UIS, 2012.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Latin America and the Caribbean was one of the first regions to introduce the category of young people into the concept of adult education in the 1980s, due to their growing presence in educational programmes designed for adults. Youth and adult education continues to be the most representative conceptual classification covering what is principally second-chance or compensatory schooling, including literacy. (UIL, 2017: 27)

    UIL. CONFINTEA VI Mid-Term Review 2017: progress, challenges, and opportunities; the status of adult learning and education; summary of the regional reports. Hamburg: UIL, 2017.

  • DEFINITION

    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an inter-governmental commitment and “a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”. It comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are “integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental (UNESCO, 2016: 4).

    UNESCO. Unpacking Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education 2030; guide. 2nd ed. Paris: UNESCO, 2016.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education is central to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Within the comprehensive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, education is essentially articulated as a stand-alone goal (SDG4) with its 7 outcome targets and 3 means of implementation (UNESCO, 2016: 4).

    UNESCO. Unpacking Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education 2030; guide. 2nd ed. Paris: UNESCO, 2016.

  • DEFINITION

    General term for schemes which offer an alternative to traditional institutional education or for movements which reject the notion of formal schooling.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    Alternative education programs are one way of responding to the disengagement of young people from mainstream schools (Wilson, Stemp and McGinty, 2013: 32)

  • DEFINITION

    Average number of completed years of education of a country's population aged 25 years and older, excluding years spent repeating individual grades.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    A closer look at the data, however, reveals notable differences and exceptions showing that more education does not necessarily lead to increased emissions. In China in 2008, when the average level of education was seven years, the level of emissions per capita was one-third of what the level in the United States was at a similar average level of education, in 1950 (UNESCO, 2014: 178).

  • DEFINITION

    Defined in the World Declaration on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990) as essential tools for learning (e.g. literacy, oral expression, numeracy and problem-solving) as well as basic learning content (e.g. knowledge, skills, values and attitudes) that human beings require to be able to survive, develop their full capacities, live and work in dignity, participate in development, improve their quality of life, make informed decisions and continue learning. The scope of basic learning needs and how they should be met varies by country and culture, and changes over time.

    UNESCO. Education for all: literacy for life; EFA global monitoring report, 2006. Paris: UNESCO, 2006.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    These observations and indicators suggest that four basic learning needs must be met before moving on to more comprehensive notions of quality: reading with comprehension, communicating in writing, valuing good citizenship, and leaming from context (Schiefelbein, 1992: 30).

    Schiefelbein, Ernesto. Redefining basic education for Latin America: lessons to be learned from the Colombian Escuela Nueva. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 42. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 1992.

  • DEFINITION

    Usually refers to some minimum competence in reading, writing and calculating (using numbers). The term is synonymous with basic learning needs.

    UNESCO. Education for all: literacy for life; EFA global monitoring report, 2006. Paris: UNESCO, 2006. 

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    The IALS data show that qualifications and literacy/numeracy skills are positively related, but far from perfectly so. Thus, there are plenty of examples in IALS of highly-qualified people with poor literacy and numeracy skills, and individuals with few qualifi cations who nevertheless have very good basic skills. This has important implications for employers in terms of hiring individuals with the appropriate knowledge and skills, rather than simply individuals with certain qualifications (McIntosh, 2008: 35).

    McIntosh, Steven. Education and employment in OECD countries. Fundamentals of Educational Planning 88. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2008.

  • DEFINITION

    The child-friendly school model is based on the simple premise that schools can and should operate in the best interests of the child. Educational environments must be safe, healthy and protective, staffed with trained teachers, equipped with adequate resources and offering conditions appropriate for learning.

    UNICEF. « Quality education and child-friendly schools ». Actions for children Issue 5 (2009).

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    If education systems are fully inclusive, quality education can be extended to all groups as a matter of routine. Bringing this about requires systems-level interventions. Instead of just ‘doing’ child-friendly schools in local communities, CFS models are ‘sold’ as good practice for the entire education system (UNICEF, 2009: 6).

    UNICEF. Child-friendly schools manual. New York: UNICEF, 2009.

  • DEFINITION

    Set of written guidelines, produced by public authorities or professional organizations, which details the set of recognized ethical norms (or values) and professional standards of conduct to which all members of a profession must adhere. Codes aim to enhance the commitment, dedication, and efficiency of members of the teaching profession, and to provide self-disciplinary guidelines by establishing norms of professional conduct.

    Source: ETICO glossary

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    In Malawi, the Safe Schools project used national advocacy networks to lobby successfully for revisions to teachers’ codes of conduct and call for stronger enforcement of regulations relating to misconduct. Awareness workshops were held for school supervisors and school committee members, who then ran sessions with teachers, pupils, counsellors and parents on the revised code. Manuals developed for training teachers and counsellors included modules on the code as well as support, referral and reporting procedures. An evaluation of the project found that the proportion of teachers who reported having seen the code of conduct rose from about three-quarters to almost all. The number of teachers who said they knew how to report a violation of the code increased by over one-third, and virtually all of those said they had a responsibility to report violations (UNESCO, 2014: 270).

    UNESCO. Teaching and learning: achieving quality for all; EFA global monitoring report, 2013-2014. Paris: UNESCO, 2014.