Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition

descriptive of a classroom seating design where learners are seated in such a way as the overall pattern resembles a horseshoe shape. It means everyone can see everyone else the teacher normally would be seated in the gap.

hot knowledge

a term for the sort of information gleaned from informal social interaction rather than from official documentation or sources. It has been identified as a key factor in the way parents and others form judgements about schools and their processes.


a controversial form of intensive educational provision aimed at accelerating learning particularly in younger children. The approach can involve children being presented for public exams far earlier than would normally be expected or recommended.

human capital (theory)

a reductionist term devised by economist Theodore Shultz (1902-1998) which views people (employees) as capital and so susceptible to improvement through investment in the form of training and education. The theory is that good investment will pay dividends for the individual in terms of future rewards and for society in terms of the improved economic productive capacity of such individuals.

human resources

a modern term for personnel management including responsibility for staff recruitment pay and retirement or dismissal and other aspects of employee conditions and organisational efficiency.


in philosophy an outlook which stresses the intrinsic value dignity and rationality of human beings. It has become associated with atheism but (aspects of) humanism can be a feature of religious outlooks too.


learning or literature concerned with human culture especially the study of Latin and Greek. The term is used more broadly nowadays to refer to all study of literature history art music and philosophy.


in children the condition of being physically active to an abnormal extent sometimes associated with neurological or psychological causes. (see Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).


a supposition or proposed explanation which is used as the starting point for further investigation. A research project for example   may be constructed to test out a particular hypothesis. In philosophical contexts it is also a term for a proposition which is used simply as a basis for reasoning without any assumption that it is true.


supposed but not necessarily true possible but not certain.

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