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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.  


To be ‘potent’ is to possess power; however, ‘potential’ refers to possible, rather than actual, power. It is something that is capable of emerging. This could be good or bad; a person might have the potential to be a criminal, or the potential to be a politician (or both).

In school terms, ‘potential’ usually refers to latent ability, which can be drawn out through good teaching, and by motivating the pupil so that he or she wants to do well. It is hard to develop a person's potential in every area. If someone practises constantly in order to become a tennis champion, he or she might be neglecting the potential to be a concert pianist.

The inspection schedule no longer refers to the potential of learners, ...

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