assigning relative importance to each of a group of variables. For example, in a subject area one element may be assigned greater importance than others. In an exam, weighting may mean that one (valued) part of the exam is given more marks than others. In an evaluation, weighting may be given to certain issues above others, for example, in interview procedures, or in entrance requirements.


the happiness, contentment, and general wellbeing of an individual. Schools are now expected to play a much larger role not simply in issues of personal, social, and emotional welfare but also in wider issues of social welfare such as sexual health, drugs, obesity, diet.


the state of being happy, healthy, and contented. It has recently become a key student outcome in many education systems and can be linked loosely to Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia. Some critics have questioned if it is used with sufficient regard to social, cultural, or ethnic diversity. It certainly seems unlikely that one definition can be found to cover the range of possible human values it might represent.

whole child

a term used for the educational concern with the personal, emotional and social wellbeing of children and young people as opposed to merely academic concerns.

whole class teaching

a teaching style where all learners in a class are taught together as a single group by the one teacher. It is often associated with instructivist approaches but need not be conducted in such a style.

whole school

relating to the school at institutional level as opposed to classroom or departmental levels. It may be used of policies or approaches.

work experience

arrangements whereby learners spend a period of time in a workplace. The placement may be related to the course being followed, or to learners' interests, or may simply be organized to provide some experience of the world of work.


an individual text issued to give learners some instructions or material relating to a task to be attempted

working class

the social grouping originally associated with manual labour but now used in more subtle ways, reflecting social divisions in terms of employment, economic standing, heredity, culture, and other distinctions.


a page given to learners detailing, or providing, some activity to be undertaken. The overuse of such an approach is widely criticised partly because of claims that the learner may merely engage in the activities without understanding or thinking being developed. The overuse also leads to all of the problems associated with lack of variation in the classroom. Sometimes worksheets are in use because of shortage of other suitable resources or because of budget concerns.