You can use the course glossary to help with any unfamiliar terminology.

Browse the glossary using this index

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A one-to-one process between an experienced and a newly qualified teacher, whereby the former provides support, advice and informal training to the latter.

M-learning (mobile-learning)

A form of e-learning through social and content interactions using personal electronic or ‘mobile’ devices (handheld computing devices), such as smart phones, tablet computers or personal digital assistants (PDAs).

Monitoring and Evaluation

The processes of continuous, methodical collection of information to track the progress of an intervention (monitoring) and measuring, assessing and analysing change (evaluation) to assess implementation and fine-tune implementation processes, look for results and evidence of impact and demonstrate accountability.

Multi-grade teaching

A system where a single teacher is responsible for learners in two or more curriculum grades (sometimes for a whole school) at the same time.

Multi-shift teaching

Where the supply of schools  (and/or  teachers)  is inadequate to provide single shift schooling for all learners, teachers teach learners in two or more shifts; this often has a negative impact on education quality, the morale of teachers and the status of teaching in general.



A process in which two or more parties with common and conflicting interests come together and talk with a view to reaching an agreement.

Non-financial incentives

Incentives in the form of benefits. See incentives.


OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

A survey about the working conditions and learning environments of a representative sample of teachers and schools in each country, with the objective of providing information to help countries review and define policies for developing a high- quality teaching profession.


Paraprofessional or ‘para’ teachers

See contract teachers.

Performance review or appraisal

See appraisal.


Classroom teaching practice  during  initial  teacher  education to allow student teachers to acquire beginning teaching competencies, apply theory to practice and prepare them for the realities of teaching.

Pre-service training

See initial teacher education/training.


A fixed-duration trial period to evaluate the progress and  skills of a new employee before they enter full-time permanent employment.

Professional licensing

See certification.

Pupil-teacher ratio (PTR)

The number of pupils enrolled in school divided by the number of school teachers; the number of pupils per teacher (or average class size). PTRs are calculated by level of education (PTR primary or PTR secondary).


Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

Status awarded by the teacher certifying body of a given country, authorizing the holder to teach in state schools. Similar statuses exist in certain countries under other names.



The ability of an education  system  or  organization  to  retain its teachers or other education  staff.  The  term  may  refer  to the strategies employers adopt to retain employees in their workforce, as well as the outcome.

Returning teachers

Experienced teachers who come back to teaching after a break in their career (often to undertake family responsibilities such as bringing up children).


School clusters

Groups of schools, usually in isolated areas, which work together to share resources and to allow teachers to share experiences and professional practices, with the aim of improving their teaching materials and skills. Clusters are often served by shared teacher resource centres.

Social dialogue

All forms of information sharing, consultation and negotiation between educational authorities, public and private, and teachers and their unions/associations.

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