Tag Archives: cognition/learning/understanding

Term of Art: Teaching for Understanding

“teaching for understanding: A pedagogical method that focuses on teaching students to understand new concepts rather than memorize discrete facts. Although this term has been used to refer specifically to deep, meaningful learning, it’s really the goal of all instruction: all teachers want their students to understand, not just recall and recite, whatever was taught.”

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

Ben Franklin on Wise Investments

“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

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

Term of Art: Visual Motor/Perception Test

“visual motor/perceptual test: A type of test that measures a child’s fine motor skills and perceptual ability in sensory areas. These tests include:

  • Beery Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration
  • Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test
  • Detroit Test of Learning Ability-2
  • Comprehensive Test of Visual Functioning
  • Test of Auditory Perceptual Skills
  • Learning Efficiency Test II
  • Quick Neurological Screening Test
  • Motor Free Visual Perception Test”

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

Term of Art: Touchstone Text

“touchstone text: A book or article that serves as a model for writing assignments.”

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

Problem of Induction

“problem of induction: Problem of justifying the inference from the characteristics of observed instances of a general concept to unobserved instances of the same concept. For example, if all emeralds I have ever seen have been green, what entitles me to draw the inference that all emeralds are green, given that my past observations do not strictly entail (or deductively imply) that are emeralds are green? May we infer that the characteristics of a sample taken from a population are characteristics of the entire population? A quality-control engineer who looks at a sample of 100 lightbulbs produced by a particular manufacturing process and finds that five are defective may conclude that 5% of all bulbs that  have been and will be produced by the process are defective. For the engineers inference to be justified, two criteria that must be met are (1) that the sample be random (i.e. every subset of 100 bulbs has an equal chance of being selected for the examination), and (2) that the sample be sufficiently large (in a mathematically precise sense). See also statistics.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Term of Art: Time on Task

“time on task: The number of minutes during an hour and the number of hours during a day that students spend actively engaged in learning in the classroom, as opposed to the amount of time changing classes, chatting, or engaging in other nonlearning situations.”

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

Term of Art: Study Skills

“study skills: Learning strategies that help and individual organize time, materials, and information. Special educators long ago recognized the importance of teaching study skills to students with learning disabilities; such skills have recently become a part of many school curricula starting in the elementary grades.

While some students seem to succeed in school with only basic study skills, many learning-disabled students benefit greatly from being taught ideas such as how to maintain a notebook and how to organize materials in each class. Time management is another essential study skill needed to complete long and short assignments on time as well as to schedule time for appointments, friends, and work. Note-taking and active reading strategies are also important study skills for all students, including those with learning disabilities.”

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

Cultural Literacy: Academic Freedom

As state legislatures around the United States (and I am most definitely looking at you, Florida) pass “right-to-remain-ignorant” laws and impose them on educational institutions, now seems like the perfect moment to post this Cultural Literacy worksheet on academic freedom. This is a half-page worksheet with a once-sentence–a longish compound, nota bene–reading and two comprehension questions.

If you find typos in this document, 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: Threshold Hypothesis

“threshold hypothesis: The belief among advocates of bilingual education that individuals with high levels of proficiency in two languages experience cognitive advantages in language skills and intellectual growth over those with low levels of proficiency in two languages, who have significant cognitive deficits.”

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

Formalism or Russian Formalism

“Formalism or Russian Formalism: Russian school of literary criticism that flourished 1914-28. Making use of the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure, Formalists were concerned with what technical devices make a literary text literary, apart from its psychological, sociological, biographical, and historical elements. Though influenced by the Symbolist movement, they sought to make their analyses more objective and scientific than those of the Symbolists. The movement was condemned by the Soviet authorities in 1929 for its lack of political perspective. Later, it became influential in the West, notably in New Criticism and structuralism.”

Excerpted/Adapted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.