• Summary
  • Contents

About the SeriesThe SAGE Key Concepts series provides students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension.Key Concepts in Education provides students with over 100 essential themes, topics and expressions that Education students are likely to encounter, both during their courses and beyond in professional practice. Co-authored to draw on experiences of working within academia, local authorities and the classroom, the entries provide:a definition of the concepta description of the historical and practical contextan explanation of how the concept is appliedan evaluation of the concepthelpful references and suggested further readingThis book will be essential reading for students of Education, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers. About the AuthorsFred Inglis is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Sheffield. Lesley Aers is a senior member of a local authority school improvement service and an Ofsted inspector. Both authors are former schoolteachers.  


A concept is an organising idea which serves to pick out certain features in an object of thought and distinguishes it from other objects. To conceptualise is therefore fundamental to thinking at all, and we all begin its operation in early infancy. Kant famously wrote ‘no percepts without concepts’ by which he meant quite literally that we cannot see things without an organising idea to tell us what to see. It is said that the first thing a baby learns to see is a face (which, it is added, may be why we can see faces anywhere – in the folds of a curtain or the head of a flower), and smiles in recognition of the fact that it knows what it sees.

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