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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.  


The derivation of ‘subject’ is from Latin, sub – ‘under’, and jacere – to throw, so the original meaning of the word was a person under the dominion of a lord or monarch. It is still used in this way in the phrase ‘subjects of the Queen’. It then took on the meaning of subject under consideration, so a topic or theme, and it is presumably in this sense that the word is used in the context of subject of a sentence. The word was used to mean the subject matter of an art or science from the sixteenth century onwards.

In schools, ‘subjects’ fill the slots on the timetable, the merry-go-round that pupils follow each day. Over the centuries, the subjects that are deemed ...

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