Theory Terminology

andragogy – a combination of the Greek for adult (man, rather than boy) and pedagogy – the notion that adults demand a different
approach from younger learners in which older learners’ greater experience is drawn on and the teacher is more facilitator than
pedagogue (linked to humanism).
commodification – taken from the word ‘commodity’ – involves giving an economic value to something that previously was not assigned in
that way. For instance, the cost of a degree is measured against potential earnings or students (consumers) who have selected an
institution for, say, its reputation for good results expect a return for investing in that institution.
critical e.g. critical reflection, critical thinking – from the Latin, and before that Greek, for discernment or judging – has several meanings
but in education tends to be combined with words such as reflection to mean a thorough or structured analysis. Another use of the word
arises in critical theory in sociology, associated with the Frankfurt School (Germany, 1930s). Critical theorists claim that human liberation or
emancipation is prevented by dominant ideologies (see e.g. work by Paolo Freire or Illich’s De-Schooling Society).
democratic education – emphasises democracy (Gr. rule by the people) as a social value and as a way of teaching that fosters equality,
justice, trust and respect.
discourse / discursive practices – from the Latin for running to and fro – is part of communication (from the Latin for making common) and
can be defined in terms of the use of language as a social practice e.g. the use of the journey metaphor for learners’ experiences.
epistemology – from the Greek for study of knowledge. In education, different kinds of knowledge have been identified e.g. practical and
theoretical. This is relevant to teachers who work in classrooms and therefore learn by experience but also use theory to inform their

HM 2014

hegemony – from the Greek for leadership – a dominant...