Tag Archives: cognition/learning/understanding

Teach the Child, Not the Subject

“Teach the child, not the subject: The quintessential slogan of the progressive, child-centered movement of the 20th century. It is certainly true that the health and welfare of the child are more important than the academic subject matter. However, the slogan sets up an unfortunate and unnecessary dichotomy between the child’s social, physical, and emotional well-being and the teacher’s responsibility to teach the child the knowledge and skills that are essential elements of a good education. Both are important.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Term of Art: Think-Aloud Strategy

“think-aloud strategy: The process of talking explicitly about what one is reading. The think-aloud process, which involves questioning, accessing prior knowledge, and making predictions, helps students recognize the strategies they are using to understand a text.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Term of Art: Visual Memory

“visual memory: The ability to take in, store, and retrieve information presented visually. Short-term visual memory is the ability to hold visual information in short-term memory in order to process it, either moving it into long-term memory or shifting focus.

Visual working memory (or nonverbal working memory) involves the ability to hold visual information in mind while considering it, reflecting on it, or in some other fashion processing it.

Long-term memory also involves visual forms, in which images are stored on a long-term basis and available for recall.”

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

Term of Art: Theory Theory

“theory theory: The idea that very young children actively construct and test theories about how the world works. According to this concept, a child holds an established theory until he or she encounters and anomaly that forces a paradigm shift and the adoption of a new theory. Theory theory is an application of the ideas first expressed by Thomas Kuhn in 1962 in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. See also paradigm.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Term of Art: Visual Discrimination

“visual discrimination: The ability to distinguish between visual objects, usually those with a similar appearance, such as between the letters ‘p’ and ‘q.’ Good visual discrimination skills are essential to early reading.”

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

Term of Art: Multiple Intelligences

“multiple intelligences (MI): The theory that many people have many ways of demonstrating their capabilities and that rather than being a single entity, intelligence is made up of distinct learning proficiencies that can work individually or together. In 1983, psychologist Howard Gardner introduced the concept of multiple intelligences in his book Frames of Mind to show that the usual school-based emphasis on rationality and logic is not the only way to be ‘intelligent.’ There is now a huge following for MI; many schools have adopted some version of it, and related training and professional development programs have proliferated. Gardner originally identified seven intelligences, only the first two of which are typically valued by schools: verbal-linguistic (the ability to use language to convey information well and to analyze language use); logical-mathematical (the capacity to analyze problems logically, grasp abstractions, recognize codes and patterns, and investigate issues scientifically) visual-spatial (the ability to recognize and manipulate the relationships of object, concepts, or images in different dimensions); musical-rhythmic (sensitivity to pitch and rhythm of sounds, as well as skill in performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns); bodily-kinesthetic (the ability to use body movement to connect with information, solve problems, and convey ideas); interpersonal (the awareness of others’ intentions, motivations, and feelings, and the ability to interact with others with understanding); and intrapersonal (the capacity to understand oneself and to recognize one’s own feelings, fears, and motivations). Gardner subsequently added and eighth intelligence: naturalist intelligence, or the ability to recognize, categorize, and draw on certain features of the natural environment. Critics say that these intelligences are actually aptitudes or abilities, or variations of rational thinking, rather than what most people consider general intelligence, and that no one can function successfully in the modern world without the linguistic and logical skills valued by schools.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Term of Art: Total Physical Response

“Total Physical Response: A language teaching method based on the belief that students will learn better when full bodily motion is involved in the process. Developed by educator and researcher James J. Asher, TPR is supposed to replace the traditional learning strategy of sitting at a desk and reading a book. Verbal commands are replaced by physical ones. For example, teachers may teach the alphabet by having students like on the floor to form letter shapes or have students learn punctuation by mimicking the shape of a period, a comma, or an exclamation point. There is some historical precedent for TPR; in the early 19th century, some pedagogues believed that students would learn the alphabet if they ate biscuits in the shape of letters, an ineffective practice that eventually disappeared.”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.

Term of Art: Speech Disorders

“speech disorders: Individuals express thoughts, feelings, and ideas out loud to one another through a series of complex movements that mold the basic tone created by the voice into specific sounds. Speech is produced by precisely coordinated muscle actions in the head, neck, chest, and abdomen; this gradual process requires years of practice to master in order to produce understandable speech.

By first grade, about 5 percent of children will develop a noticeable speech disorder, most of which will have no known cause. Most speech disorders in the preschool years occur in children who are developing normally in all other areas, although speech disorders also may occur in children who have developmental disabilities.

One of the most common categories of speech disorder is stuttering, a condition in which there is a disruption in the flow of speech. Stuttering is a condition that involves repetitions of speech sounds, hesitations before and during speaking, and the prolonged emphasis of speech sounds. More than 15 million individuals around the world have this problem, most of whom began stuttering at a very early age.

Children with specific speech sound disorders (also called articulation disorder or phonological disorder) have trouble producing the speech sounds of their language that would be expected for their age. The extent of these errors will affect how easy it is to understand their speech, in some cases making it impossible for others to understand what the child is doing.”

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

Term of Art: Spatial-Material Organizational Disorder

“spatial-material organizational disorder: A problem with organizing materials so that the child constantly struggles for survival within an ordered environment.

A child with this problem has a hard time organizing information on pater. Margins are missing, spacing between words and letters is incorrect, centering is difficult, and the overall appearance of the work is messy. Teachers often have trouble reading the child’s work. Often, a child with this problem forgets assignments or books needed to complete assignments. Assignments themselves may be incomplete, or the child cannot find completed assignments.

In addition, a child with this problem is often disorganized and has problems following routines or completing tasks. Desk and home environment are usually messy and disorganized, although the child may appear to have his own system of organization in his own space.”

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

Term of Art: Theme School

“theme schools: Schools that emphasize a particular set of activities or ideas that they think will appeal to students. For example, some schools are dedicated to technology, whereas others focus on the performing arts or on specific vocations. As the movement for small schools accelerated in the 1990s and the early 21sst century, there was a large increase in the number of theme high schools, some with esoteric or highly specialized themes (e.g., the sports professions or world architecture).”

Excerpted from: Ravitch, Diane. EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2007.