News

null Development of a Common Language in Education and Training

Development of a Common Language in Education and Training

The second edition of the Glossary of Education (OKSA) was published in a web seminar held on February 12, 2021, which gathered together almost a hundred experts from different fields. OKSA is a comprehensive education and training glossary covering all levels of education. It includes jointly agreed definitions for concepts and term recommendations to harmonize language use in the education sector.

The second edition of OKSA includes approximately 760 concepts and their terminological descriptions. Riina Kosunen, terminologist of the Finnish Terminology Centre TSK, stated that the information on the first edition of OKSA, published in 2018, has been supplemented to now include, among other things, concepts related to early childhood education and care and general upper secondary education, social benefits and services for students as well as the evaluation of and assessment in early childhood education and care and primary and lower secondary education. This version also includes concepts of the Workplace Education and Training glossary, which have been defined in the Parasta DigiTukea development program.

Eeva-Leena Ronkainen, Project director of the Parasta Digitukea development program from the Educational Consortium OSAO, describes how terminology work on the workplace education and training glossary involved various education professionals from different fields and roles: apprenticeship management, information systems, student administration, development and teaching. Compiling the glossary and participating in interesting discussions provided an opportunity for participants to expand their own knowledge significantly.

The terminology work was already initiated by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2010 as part of the reform of Learners’ Online Services (current Studyinfo). The need for the terminology work originally stemmed from incompatibility between information systems. Harmonization of language use represented an effort to promote the building of interoperable digital services.  

Counselor of Evaluation Janniina Vlasov from the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre, who participated in the web seminar, also refers to the fundamental role of digital services. She focused on the evaluation work of the quality of early childhood education and care and emphasized the significance of conceptual definitions, which also facilitates the development of data systems related to early childhood education and care.

The terminology work continues

In recent years, terminology work has increased awareness for the growing needs for a glossary. It is presented through the need to form and define new concepts but also to edit previously defined concepts. Therefore, a feedback mechanism will be added to the Glossary of Education during 2021. It will allow anyone to suggest for changing or supplementing an existing concept in the glossary or for adding a concept missing from the glossary.

Tero Huttunen from the Ministry of Education and Culture stated that the terminology work will not end with this publication and that glossary definition requirements topical to 2021 include matters, such as the extension of compulsory education, early childhood education and care and learning analytics. The glossary project on continuous learning initiated in 2020 is also ongoing. The glossary project in question is a joint glossary project between the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Its goal is to harmonize the definitions of concepts related to continuous learning for the sectors of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy as well as the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Joint understanding through cooperation

Terminology work has been conducted through the OKSA working group compiled by the Ministry of Education and Culture and its sub-groups, which consist of specialists from different departments of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education, higher education and CSC as well as terminology experts. The language versions of the terms were produced by the Glossary group consisting of translators employed by public administration and higher education institutions. Terminological expertise was contributed, the work was organized and implemented, and the finished publication was edited by Finnish Terminology Centre TSK.  
OKSA is intended for experts, drafters of legislation, information system experts, communication officers, journalists, translators and everyone who needs information about recommended terms in the education sector and their meanings.  
 
The OKSA glossary and updates to it have been published in the Finnish Government's Publication Series, The Finnish Terminology Centre TSK's TEPA Term Bank as well as in the yhteentoimiva.suomi.fi terminology editor.

Further information:

The second edition of the OKSA Vocabulary of Education is available on the following addresses:

The Institutional Repository for the Government (PDF, in Finnish)

The yhteentoimiva.suomi.fi terminology tool

The TEPA Term Bank

Progress on the terminology work can be monitored on the following working areas:

OKSA terminology working group

The Constant Learning glossary work