Glossary of terms used on this site

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Term Definition
intergenerational mobility

a key measure of the extent to which the education system improves the life chances of individuals and tackles socioeconomic inequality. It measures the extent to which the offspring of one generation improve their social status or socioeconomic position over time. In unequal stratified societies mobility tends to be limited whereas in more open egalitarian societies much more movement of this sort is possible.


in education, an approach to learning where new material is not taught in serial order but in a mixed, or integrated, way. For example, instead of learning new topics A, B, and C, by focusing first on A, then B, and then C, an interleaved approach would vary the pattern from one to another and back again. It is claimed to aid better retention.Some sceptics argue that its benefits may only apply to certain types of learning, such as factual knowledge.


relating to communication or relationships between people.


any action intended to stop a process from developing or to improve a situation. In education this occurs in many areas including that of behaviour management and teaching approaches. Research studies into the effects of such interventions are often highly-prized but as with all educational issues the extent to which such interventions can be replicated or the effectsgeneralisable is always questionable (see early intervention).

intrinsic value

having inherent benefit or being prized without reference to any other purpose. Learning of this sort is often valorised because it means it is enjoyable the activity is not merely being used in some strategic sense nor is it devalued by being a means to an end. Learning of this sort is also tends to be deeper and more long-lasting (see extrinsic  flow).


a model in the study of personality which places humans along a polar spectrum from extravert (outgoing physical social) to introvert (inward-looking reserved withdrawn). It is not currently given much credence.


a supervisor in formal examinations.


self-referenced. In assessment this can either mean self-assessment through self-reporting or more commonly using a grading system suited to an individual's personal circumstances (self-referenced) rather than norm-referenced or criterion-referenced.


      marked by repetition particularly a sequenced cycle of activity. It is most commonly used in related to data analysis within research projects where the material is revisited regularly as a means of improving understanding and the validity of the conclusions being drawn

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