Tag Archives: professional development

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.


Democracy: An existential system in which words are more important than actions. Not a judgmental system.

Democracy is not intended to be efficient, linear, logical, cheap, the source of absolute truth, manned by angels, saints or virgins, profitable, the justification for any particular economic system, a simple matter of majority rule or for that matter a simple matter of majorities. Nor is it an administrative procedure, patriotic, a reflection of tribalism, a passive servant of either law or regulation, elegant or particularly charming.

Democracy is the only system capable of reflecting the humanist principle of equilibrium or balance, The key to its secret is the involvement of the citizen.

Excerpted from: Saul, John Ralston.The Doubter’s Companion. New York: The Free Press, 1994.

Write It Right: Connection

“Connection. ‘In this connection I should like to say a word or two.’ In connection with this matter.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin: (1942-2018) U.S. popular singer. Her family moved from Memphis to Detroit when she was 2. Her father, C.L. Franklin, was a well-known revivalist preacher; his church and home were visited by such luminaries as Aretha’s aunt Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, and Dinah Washington. She made her first recording at 12. At first she performed only on the gospel and ‘chitlin’ circuits, but in 1967 her powerful and fervent voice took the country by storm in a string of songs including “I Never Loved a Man,” “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” “Think,” and “Natural Woman.” Her later albums include Amazing Grace (1972), Sparkle (1976), Who’s Zoomin’ Who (1985), and One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism (1989). She was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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


“Aspersion (noun): A disparaging or slanderous comment, report, or expression; calumny; slur; Adj. aspersive; v. asperse.

‘But whatever the fact here, the Americans were quickly aware of every British aspersion on their culture, whether in a book or in one of the reviews.’ H.L. Mencken, The American Language”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Oswald Spengler

“Oswald Spengler: (1880-1936) German philosopher. A schoolmaster before he turned to writing, Spengler is remembered for his influential The Decline of the West (2 volumes, 1918-22), a study in the philosophy of history. He contended that civilizations pass through a life cycle, blossoming and decaying like natural organisms, and that Western culture is irreversibly past its creative stage and headed into eclipse. Though acclaimed by a public disillusioned in the wake of World War I, his work was criticized by both professional scholars and the Nazi party, despite some affinities with its dogma.”

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


“Synonym: (Greek ‘together name’): A word similar in meaning to another. It is rare to find an exact synonymous meaning, It is usually a matter of ‘shades’ of meaning, as in: insane, mad, demented, daft, loopy, psychotic, barpoo, crazy, nutty, maghnoon, off one’s coconut, etc. See ANTONYM.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

56 Pillars

“In prehistoric Britain, fifty-six stone pillars stood in the outer circle of Stonehenge. In more recent times, the National War Memorial in Washington, erected after World War II, commemorates the dead with fifty-six pillars (also the number of signatures on the 1776 Declaration of Independence of the thirteen states). And in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the People’s Republic, fifty-six towering red columns were erected to represent the ‘equal, united and harmonious’ ethnic groups of China.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.


Suetonious: Latin Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (AD 69?—after 122) Roman biographer and antiquarian. Suetonius’ family was of the knightly class. His writings include De viris illustribus (“Concerning Illustrious Men”), short biographies of literary figures what were the ultimate source of nearly all that is known about the lives of eminent Roman authors. Lives of the Caesars, his other major work, is seasoned with bits of gossip and scandal related to the first 11 emperors; it is largely responsible for the vivid picture of Roman society and its decadent leaders that dominated historical thought until modified in modern times by the discovery of nonliterary evidence.

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

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.