This glossary is a collection of terms and their definitions as they were used in a variety of Agency projects. You can use the filter to search and select the terms you want to see based on their place in the alphabet or the projects that they are related to.
Child-friendly schools adopt a rights-based, multi-sectoral approach, concerned with the whole child. According to UNICEF:
Schools should operate in the best interests of the child. Educational environments must be safe, healthy and protective, endowed with trained teachers, adequate resources and appropriate physical, emotional and social conditions for learning. Within them, children’s rights must be protected and their voices must be heard. Learning environments must be a haven for children to learn and grow, with innate respect for their identities and varied needs. The CFS model promotes inclusiveness, gender-sensitivity, tolerance, dignity and personal empowerment (UNESCO/European Agency, no date).
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Opposed to individual learning, collaborative learning develops a community-centred approach. It is a recent trend in human learning and cognition that emphasises participation, joint meaning-making, discourse and dialogue. It is characterised by collaboration, creative processes and the use of new technology.
A framework of theories, assumptions, principles and rules. It underpins the project’s work and provides a ‘shared vision’ to guide project thinking, ensuring coherence and consistency.
A continuum of support and services matches the full range of additional needs encountered in every school. For children with special educational needs, a continuum of support should be provided. This ranges from minimal help in mainstream classrooms, to additional learning support programmes within the school. It also extends, where necessary, to assistance from specialist teachers and external support staff. (Refer to: www.unesco.org/education/pdf/SALAMA_E.PDF).
For teachers, support staff and school leaders, a continuum of support should be provided through the use of research, networking and links to universities and initial teacher education institutions. This will provide development opportunities for all groups as lifelong learners (European Agency, 2014).
A continuum of support ensures coherent transition within education systems, and from education systems to work. It also ensures co-operation among the different stakeholders involved.
Principles or standards that examples can be judged by or considered against.
The curriculum can be broadly defined as a reflection of the kind of society to which we aspire (core objectives, concepts); the pedagogical and administrative action plans of an education system (frameworks, structures, supports); an interactive, non-linear and dynamic tool and process of pedagogical development (pedagogy, disciplinary content, didactic strategies, assessment, learning outcomes, encompassing the design and management of the curricula) (UNESCO-IBE, 2013 ).
Curriculum-based assessment is an assessment linked to programmes of learning. It serves to inform teachers about their pupils’ learning progress and difficulties in relation to the programme of study. This allows teachers to decide about what a pupil needs to learn next and how to teach that material.
Design for all is a ‘design approach to products and services, aiming to make them usable for as many people as possible’ (UNESCO IITE/European Agency, 2011, p. 101).
Design for all ‘is used to describe a design philosophy targeting the use of products, services and systems by as many people as possible without the need for adaptation’. Design for all is design for human diversity, social inclusion and equality (European Institute for Design and Disability, 2004).
Diagnosis is one particular use or purpose of assessment information. It aims to identify particular strengths and weaknesses a learner may have in one or more areas of their functioning. Diagnosis often implies the collection and interpretation of information from a medical perspective, although educational ‘diagnosis’ also occurs. Diagnosis is often one aspect of assessment processes linked to initial identification of special educational needs.
Differentiation is a method of designing and delivering instruction to best reach each learner. Teachers might differentiate content, process, products and/or the learning environment, with the use of on-going assessment and flexible grouping (Tomlinson, 2014). Differentiation in teachers’ practices takes account of learner differences and matches curriculum content and teaching methods to learning styles and learner needs. It may focus on input, task, outcome, output, response, resources or support. Care must be taken, however, that differentiation does not lead to lower expectations and segregation from the mainstream system. It should offer a range of differentiated tasks to everyone in class, giving learners some choice in what they do and how they respond.
(as in digital content, digital devices, digital resources, digital technology) – essentially, another word for computers and computer technology. (Computers store and process information by converting it all to single-figure numbers – digits.) (UNESCO/Microsoft, 2011, p. 90).
Digital divide refers to ‘the gap between those who can benefit from digital technology and those who cannot’ (Digital Divide Institute, 2015).
Digital literacy is about basic computer skills, such as being able to do word-processing or go online. It refers to:
… the skills required to achieve digital competence. It is underpinned by basic skills in ICT and the use of computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet (European Commission, 2008, p. 4).