Dictionary of Educational Jargon
If you are confused about all the different terms you have come across while preparing for a teaching job, this glossary will help you understand the jargon of your new profession.A
ability grouping Placing students into groups based solely on their achievement on a test.
academic standards Statements that provide a clear description of the knowledge and skills students should be developing through instruction.
accommodation A device, material, or support process that will enable a student to accomplish a task more efficiently.
ADHD Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This is a condition in which an individual has difficulty sustaining attention, focusing on information, and frequently demonstrates hyperactive behavior.
analysis A level of questioning in which students break down something into its component parts.
anecdotal records Narrative descriptions of student behavior or performance.
anticipation guide A teaching strategy that encourages students to use their background knowledge about a topic before reading about that topic.
application A level of questioning in which students take information and apply it to a new situation.
assessment Gathering information about the level of performance of individual students.
attitudinal assessment Determining the attitudinal or emotional growth of your students.B
benchmarks See performance standards.
bilingual An individual's ability to speak his or her native language as well as an additional language fluently.
block scheduling Longer academic periods (primarily at the high school level) that allow students to pursue a subject in more depth. Periods may range from 70 to 140 minutes in length.
bodily-kinesthetic intelligence This intelligence focuses on physical activities; eye/hand coordination; and the ability to move around through dance, plays, or role-playing activities.
brainstorming Generating lots of ideas from many individuals.
buzz session A temporary group of students formed to discuss a specific topic.C
CD-ROM A computer disc of digitized sounds, activities, and/or pictures.
charter school A school operated as a for-profit enterprise.
closure The final instructional activity in a lesson plan.
comprehension The way in which ideas are organized into categories.
constructivism The way knowledge is created in the mind of a learner.
content courses Teacher preparation courses that focus on the specific content of factual information about a subject (chemistry, social studies, algebra). College students in secondary teacher education programs most often take these courses.
cooperative learning Placing students into small groups and having them work together toward a common goal.
copyright The registration with the Library of Congress that protects a book or other printed material from unfair and/or unauthorized duplication.
creative thinking Generating new ways of looking at a situation.
criterion check A point in any lesson at which the teacher stops and checks to see if students understand the material up to that point.
critical thinking The ability to analyze information.D
deductive thinking Going from the general to the specific. See also inductive thinking.
dehydration A reduction of water content.
differentiated instruction Providing instruction according to the different ability levels in a classroom.
dimensions of learning The five basic elements of any teaching/learning situation: confidence and independence, knowledge and understanding, skills and strategies, use of prior and emerging experience, and critical reflection.
disruptive behavior Any behavior that interferes with or impedes a teacher's ability to teach and students' abilities to learn.E
educational technology Any instructional aid or media teachers use to support the teaching and learning process.
elaboration The expansion of an idea or thought.
elementary teachers Teachers who teach preschool up through grade 6.
evaluation A method of determining if students learned what they were taught. It is usually conducted at the end of a lesson.
extrinsic motivation When an individual is motivated by outside factors or other people (as opposed to being motivated from within).F
flexibility The skill of drawing relationships between seemingly unrelated ideas (How are a brick and a book similar?).
fluency The ability to create a lot of ideas.
formative evaluation Evaluation that takes place between the introduction of material and its conclusion.
free lunch A student's meal which is completely subsidized by government funds.G
gifted students Students who demonstrate high levels of imagination, curiosity, and intelligence.
graphic organizer A chart, outline, or web of ideas or concepts visually organized into groups or categories.H
heterogeneous groups Groups of students of mixed abilities.
high-stakes testing When students take standardized tests, the results of which are rewarded in some way (graduation, for example).
homeroom The classroom a secondary student attends in the morning (or at the end of the day). Attendance is taken, announcements are made, and forms are completed in this room.
hypothesis An assumption, interpretation, or guess based on currently available information.I
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This is the name given in 1990 to what was formerly known as Public Law 94-142 (the Education for All Handicapped Children Act).
IEP A document that outlines specific learning objectives for a student and how those objectives will be carried out.
inclusion Involving all students in the educational setting that best meets their needs.
inductive thinking Going from the specific to the general. See also deductive thinking.
in-service teacher An individual who has been hired by a district and is actively teaching.
INTASC The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium. This a group of state education agencies and national educational organizations who work to reform the preparation, licensing, and professional development of teachers.
intelligence The ability to use knowledge.
intermediate teachers Teachers who teach forth, fifth, and sixth grade.
interpersonal intelligence The ability to work effectively with other people.
intrapersonal intelligence The ability to understand one's own emotions, goals, and intentions.
intrinsic motivation Motivation that comes from within the individual.K
knowledge The facts and data of a subject.L
laws of learning Basic laws or rules by and through which learning occurs.
learning center A self-contained section of the classroom in which students engage in independent activities.
learning disabled students Those students who demonstrate a significant discrepancy between academic achievement and intellectual abilities in one or more areas.
lecture Sharing information with students verbally.
lesson plan An outline of goals and objectives, activities designed to help students achieve those goals, and objectives and ways to assess whether students have actually reached those goals and objectives.
listserv A list of e-mail addresses maintained by a group or organization. E-mail can be sent electronically to everyone on the list by any member of the list.
locus of control The degree to which individuals perceive they are in control. There are two types: external (people motivated by others) and internal (people motivated from within).
logical-mathematical intelligence The ability to reason deductively or inductively and to recognize and manipulate abstract patterns and relationships.