“relevant: An adjective usually attached to an activity or reading assignment to show that it has some relationship to students own lives. Relevance has become very important in modern education, on the assumption that students want to learn mostly about ideas, events, and processes that they can connect to their personal experiences. The belief that whatever is studied must relate directly to students’ own lives ignores the fact that students need extensive background knowledge on which to build new understandings. If students learn only what is directly connected to their own lives, their universe of learning will be severely limited and dependent on their family and community resources.”
Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.