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).