A computing paradigm
is a rough way of describing how a programming language handles data. The most common computing paradigms are the Imperative paradigm, in which numbers are explicitly manipulated by a godlike programmer, and the Functional Paradigm, in which functions are defined to return other functions.
The imperative paradigm is the most common, and is represented by the C family of languages, as well as BASIC.
The functional paradigm is usually represented by the LISP family of languages, and particularly Scheme