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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.  


‘Standard’ first signified a fixed emblem, such as a flag. This was derived from the verb ‘to stand’. The concept of a ‘fixed point’ can be seen in references such as this – ‘the king's standard being the point of reunion of the army, and the centre from which commands are issued’. It thus became the fixed point to which comparisons could be made, so a school is said to have ‘high standards’ if results are above the national average, or ‘low standards’ if they are below.

Often, instead of being used in relation to a measurable point, the word ‘standards’ is bandied around to mean anything good, or whatever the writer happens to prefer, as in ‘standards are falling’ (‘Crash! There goes another one!’ ...

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