Category Archives: Reference Materials

This category includes materials excerpted from a variety of reference books, as well as other material used as reference sources such as learning supports and style sheets.

Zeitgeist

“Zeitgeist: (Ger., spirit of the time) In art terms, refers to certain elements characterizing the mood, thinking, and resulting art production or a period or moment.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Direct Object

“Direct Object: A noun or pronoun that receives the action of a transitive verb. Pearson publishes books.”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

Term of Art: Double Bind

Double bind: An inescapable dilemma involving conflicting demands that allow no right or satisfactory response. An influential theory of the etiology of schizophrenia was put forward by the English-born US anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) and several co-authors in an article in the journal Behavioral Science in 1956, according to which schizophrenia is caused by parenting styles that create double binds for children, as when a mother complains to her son for not giving her a kiss but recoils physically whenever the child does kiss her. This theory was enthusiastically adopted by the Scottish psychiatrist Ronald D(avid) Laing (1927-89) and others during the 1970s and 1980s, but empirical evidence has not been forthcoming in support of the theory, despite its attractiveness.

Excerpted from: Colman, Andrew M., ed. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Term of Art: Cultural Determinant

“A factor arising from racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic background that may systematically influence test performance on a specific assessment instrument.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Historical Term: Boss

“’boss’: Phenomenon often found in US politics, but not restricted to the USA, in which the archetypal ‘boss’ is a politician who achieves power locally by corrupt or devious means and then proceeds to strengthen his ‘machine’ (i.e. his supporters) that has helped him to power. His supporters will be nominated to public offices, including the judiciary and police force, and will receive lucrative public contracts. The ‘boss’, susceptible to bribery, will condone lawbreaking if it suits his purposes. He may assume high office himself or might prefer to remain in the background.

The most famous ‘bosses’ include Tweed of Tammany Hall, New York; Platt of New York; Huey Long of Louisiana, and Daley of Chicago. Flagrant examples of ‘bossism’ are now rare. It probably flourished largely because of political apathy and nativity [sic] among large urban immigrant communities and rural populations.”

Excerpted from: Cook, Chris. Dictionary of Historical Terms. New York: Gramercy, 1998.

James Bryant Conant on High Schools

“If one accepts the ideal of a democratic, fluid society with a minimum of class distinction, the maximum of fluidity between different vocational groups, then the ideal secondary school is a comprehensive public high school.”

James Bryant Conant (1893-1978) as Quoted in The Teacher and the Taught (1963)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Dependent Clause

“Dependent Clause: A group of words that includes a subject and verb but is subordinate to and independent clause in a sentence. Dependent clauses begin with either a subordinating conjunction, such as if, because, since, or a relative pronoun, such as who, which, that. When it gets dark, we’ll find a restaurant that has music.”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

The Order of Things: Evolution

Here’s another lesson plan from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s book The Order of Things, this one on the scale and chronology of evolution. You’ll need this list and comprehension questions worksheet to complete this lesson in your classroom.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Term of Art: Analogy

analogy: A comparison between two different but related things. The ability to comprehend and create analogies is an important component of critical reasoning capabilities. For example, an analogy might compare the biological process of a tree growing from a small seed to a tall oak, to the human process of development from infancy to adulthood. This analogy would be written;

SEED : OAK AS INFANT : ADULT

Another type of analogy is the visual analogy. For example, in a 2 X 2 cell grid, the two cells on the left might contain blue strs, and the top cell on the right might contain a green square. The person taking the test must then select which of several presented figures (including the correct green square) mts go in the empty cell.

For some students with learning disabilities, understanding analogies may be very difficult. They may process information in fairly concrete ways, and miss more subtle connections between dissimilar things.

Ofteh, however, the ability to reason analogically is a relative strength for students with learning disabilities.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

Suprematism

“Suprematism: An outgrowth of Rayonism, but more immediately of Analytic Cubism, suprematism was a Russian movement founded in 1915 by Kazimir Malevich, who used the circle, rectangle, triangle, and cross as the basis of a purely abstract style and as a vehicle for his spiritual ideas. Suprematism proved highly significant in the development of Constructivism, despite the latter’s more utilitarian outlook.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.