Online Glossary Letter S


Glossary-Items: Letter S

Sensory processing sensitivity

A person with high sensory processing sensitivity (i.e., a highly sensitive person) is someone who is extremely sensitive and, in a particularly intense experience of feelings or sensory impressions, this can be manifested as a distinct urge for them to move around or feeling the need for cognitive challenges as well as in their vivid imagination. Giftedness can, in some cases, be accompanied by sensory processing sensitivity.


Self-directed learning

With self-directed learning, children and adolescents take responsibility for their own learning to a large extent. They structure their own learning processes and make decisions about when and how and what content they learn and explore in greater depth.



Self-concept refers to how children and adolescents perceive themselves individually and what abilities they ascribe to themselves. Self-concept is formed on the basis of experiences that every child and every adolescent makes with their environment and the reactions to their behavior, achievements, and personality.


Similar-to-me effect

The similar-to-me effect is an error in observation and assessment by educators in which they base their evaluation of a child’s behavior on an unconscious comparison of the child with themselves.


Socioeconomic background

The term socioeconomic background refers to the social and economic aspects that can have an impact on a person’s life. These can include, for instance, the education level of parents, financial wealth, nationality, or sibling status.



Stereotypes are characteristics that are generally regarded as “typical” for a certain group of people (e.g., people from the same social background or of the same gender). These properties are then applied to all the people in this group. Stereotypes, however, are often wrong when they refer to a group and apply even less to individual people in this group with the result that they come across as prejudicial.


Sustained shared thinking

This term refers to situations in which educators and children enter into a dialogue with one another that can be conducive to shared thinking, discussing issues, solving problems, or clarifying concepts.


Skipping a grade

Skipping a grade (in German: “Überspringen”) in school is a measure in accelerated learning, and each individual case should be carefully examined and agreed to and supported by everyone involved. It requires—alongside a high cognitive ability—a very good capacity for learning and intrinsic motivation as well as adequate social and emotional maturity.