Tag Archives: cognition/learning/understanding

Term of Art: Year-Round Schooling

“year-round schooling: A modified school calendar that gives students short breaks throughout the school year instead of the traditional three-month summer break. Year-round calendars vary, sometimes within the same school district. Some schools use the staggered schedule to relieve overcrowding; others use it because they believe the three-month break causes students to forget much of what they learned the previous year. Some schools are on a single-track schedule, in which all students are on vacation at the same time, whereas others operate according to a multitrack schedule, which allows students to take their vacations at different times during the year. Advocates of year-round schooling claim that it saves money, maximizes use of facilities, reduces vandalism, improves student retention of academic content, and reduces dropout rates. Critics contend that the intensive use of school facilities creates maintenance problems and extra expenses (e.g., air-conditioning in the summer); that multitrack schedules cause difficulties for family vacation schedules; and that scheduling extracurricular activities is complicated when team members attend schools in different cycles.”

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

Term of Art: Cognitive Style

“cognitive style: The preferred way an individual processed information, usually described as a personality dimension that influences attitudes, values, and social interaction. Unlike individual differences in abilities that describe peak performance, styles describe a person’s typical mode of thinking, remembering, or problem solving. Having more of an ability is usually considered beneficial, while having a particular cognitive style simply denotes a tendency to behave in a certain manner.

Field Independence/Dependence A number of cognitive styles have been identified and studies over the years; field independence/field dependence is probably the most well known. Individuals view the world in different ways. Those who are called “field-dependent” perceive the world in terms of larger patterns and relationships, whereas those who are “field-independent” perceive the world in terms of discrete elements–they look at the pieces that make up the whole.

Most schools in Western culture favor a field-independent approach, rewarding students who tend to work and organize information on their own. These learneer are objective in that they make what is being studies into an object to be analyzed and understood.

Studies have identified a number of connections between this cognitive style and learning. For example, field-independent individuals are likely to learn more effectively by studying by themselves, and are influenced less by social reinforcement.”

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

The Weekly Text, December 18, 2020: Four Context Clues Worksheets on Enthusiasm (n), Enthusiast (n), Enthuse (vi/vt), and Enthusiastic (adj)

This week’s Text, which will be the last for this benighted year, is four context clues worksheets on the nouns enthusiasm and enthusiast, the verb enthuse, and the adjective enthusiastic. If you want to make a point about words as they appear across the parts of speech–known in linguistics by the term of art morphology–these might help.

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.

David Hume

Like most of the material on philosophy you’ll find on this website, I wrote this reading on David Hume and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet for one of three students I served over the years who took a keen interest in philosophy. Hume is an important figure in the history of philosophy, which was the primary criterion as I labored to produce material that would keep said student or students engaged.

These documents, however, may be useful for professional development. Hume did, after all, write on issues of importance to educators, particularly in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. And for our own purposes, and perhaps for students with an interest in it, Hume’s work on skepticism is not only important to an understanding of teaching and learning, but also a cornerstone of the Enlightenment.

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: Expository Writing

“expository writing: A term that refers to informational writing typically given during the first year of college to prepare first-year students for academic writing. Generally, entering first-year students will take at least one semester of expository writing. Some colleges require a two-semester sequence of expository writing courses.

In some cases, students with writing problems may be required to complete developmental or basic writing courses before they can enter the expository writing course.

Expository writing includes description, comparison/contrast, definition, classification, argument, process analysis, and cause-and-effect. These types of writing or rhetorical strategies may be taught using models and examples, and as ends in themselves, or as strategies to use within informational essays that include a number of different patterns.

In general, the goal of teaching these types of writing patterns is to provide a foundation for the kinds of text-based writing required in specific academic disciplines.

Expository writing may be contrasted with expressive writing or the personal essay, in which students are allowed to focus on their own experience, perceptions, and memories. Much more than expressive writing, expository writing may pose problems for individuals with learning disability who may find it difficult to organize ideas, support main ideas with details, or apply paragraph and essay structures.”

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

Term of Art: Academic Freedom

“academic freedom: The freedom of educators to teach and to conduct research without fear of political reprisal, as well as the freedom of students to learn without fear of indoctrination or intimidation. Academic freedom for scholars involves both rights and responsibilities. Professors who assert their rights and freedoms have a responsibility to base their conclusions on competent scholarship and to present them in a dignified manner. Although they may express their own opinions, they are duty-bound to set forth the contrasting opinions of other scholars and to introduce their students to the best published sources on the topics at issue. In other words, professors may express their own views, but they must do so in a spirit of impartial scholarly inquiry, without imposing them on their students. Correlatively, students have the right to study under the guidance of qualified and unbiased faculty and to express their views without fear of any form of retribution.”

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

Term of Art: Accent

“accent: A variety of speech differing phonetically from other varieties: thus, as in ordinary usage, ‘a Southern accent.’ ‘Scottish accent,’ ‘Scottish accents.’ Normally restricted by linguists to cases where the differences are at most in phonology: further differences, e.g. in syntax, are said to be between dialects.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Alexander Pope on Education

“Tis education forms the common mind/Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.”

Alexander Pope, Moral Essays: Epistle to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington

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

Word Root Exercise: -Ics

Alright: here is a worksheet on the Greek root ics, which is enormously productive in English. It means study of, science, skill, practice,  and knowledge. You’ll find it in words like physics, phonics, and analytics among many, many other English words used across the domains of the common branch curriculum.

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.

The Weekly Text, November 6, 2020: A Lesson Plan on Areas and Surfaces from The Order of Things

Okay, folks, it’s Friday again. This week’s Text is this lesson plan on areas or surfaces, contrived from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s excellent reference book The Order of Things. You’ll need this list as reading and its comprehension questions to deliver this lesson.

Incidentally, this is one of fifty of these I’ve written since this pandemic began last March. For years I’d perused Ms. Kipfer’s book, recognizing in it the potential for a wide variety of lessons to build literacy and procedural knowledge in working with a variety of symbolic systems. I’ve also worked up a unit plan and users’ manual (both of which I’ll post on the “About Posts & Texts” page) to explain and rationalize the use of these lessons.

So be on the lookout for those materials. About half of the unit is already posted on this site–just search “The Order of Things.”

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.