The goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things.
— John Piaget (1896-1980)

Education: a means of training. (Bruner, 1) The purposeful, conscious effort to transmit ideas, knowledge, skills, habits, values, opinions, expectations, and standards through instruction, study example, and experience. May be carried out in formal institutions, such as schools and universities, or in informal settings. (Ravitch, 83)

Authentic problem solving has been shown to immeasurably enhance student’s motivation, sense of efficacy, and self-esteem. An understanding of abstract concepts depends on the student’s developmental age and on the teacher's ability to make those concepts understandable with sufficient examples that relate to the student’s experiences. Learning is a process of building neural networks. (Wolfe, 169-171) Verb - educate. Also referred to as ‘instruction’ and ‘teaching.’

Achievement Gap: the systematic difference in learning between majority and minority, or rich and poor, students. (Johnson, 254) Persistent differences in achievement among different groups of students as indicated by scores on standardized tests, grades, levels of educational attainment, graduation rates, and other data. (Ravitch, 9) Also referred to as ‘test-score gap.’

Affirmative Action: policies and procedures designed to compensate for past discrimination against women and members of minority groups. For example, assertive recruiting and admission practices. (Johnson, 279)

Age of Reason: the late 17th and 18th centuries in Western Europe, during which cultural life was characterized by faith in human reason. (Oxford) The beginning of the modern period of education, a period in which European thinkers emphasized the importance of reason. The writings of Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet - 1694-1778) during this time strongly influenced (this period.) (Johnson, 35) Also referred to as ‘the enlightenment.’

Andragogy: the instruction and training of people who are not in school anymore. (Instructional Design, Instructional Design Terms)

Curriculum: an environment created by the interaction of all of the elements that support learning: the content taught, the materials selected, the teaching strategies used, the learning activities in which children engage, and the way a school is organized. (Johnson, 336) (Includes) clearly articulated learning targets, (such as) robust concepts, generalizations, or procedures. (Pollack, 9) Used for education, training programs, and courses in various fields and disciplines, and for training groups of persons. (MeSH)

Hidden Curriculum: what schools teach students by example and by their social organization, as opposed to the subject matter that they officially teach. (Ravitch, 113) The implicit values and expectations that teachers and schools convey about what is important for students to learn. (Johnson, 142)

Standards-Based Curriculum: course work that is based on explicit outcomes of what students should know and be able to do in a subject at a specific grade level as identified in standards. (Johnson, 160) Also referred to as ‘standards-based education.’

Degree: a stage of proficiency in an art, craft, course of study, etc., especially an academic rank conferred by a university or college as a mark of proficiency in scholarship. (Oxford)

Associate Degree: a degree granted by a two-year college on successful completion of the undergraduates course of studies. (NCIt)

Bachelor's Degree: an award (baccalaureate or equivalent degree, as determined by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education) conferred by a college, university, or other postsecondary education institution as official recognition for the successful completion of a program of studies, that normally requires at least four years of full-time equivalent college-level work. This includes bachelor's degrees conferred in a five-year cooperative program. (NCIt)

General Education Diploma (GED): an alternative equivalent to receiving a high school diploma. (Johnson, 374)

Doctorate Degree: the highest award a student can earn for graduate study. The doctor's degree classification includes such degrees in any field. (NCIt) Also referred to as ‘doctorate’ and ‘doctor’s degree.’

Master's Degree: an award that requires the successful completion of a program of study of at least the full-time equivalent of 1 but not more than two academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree. (NCIt)

Disaggregated: the process of separating test scores based on student characteristics such as “gender,”  “ethnicity,” and socioeconomic status. (Johnson, 255) The division of a body of data, such as test scores…, into segments. Often test data are disaggregated by economic status, race or ethnicity, gender, disability, migrant status, and first or primary language. Such data may reveal that certain subgroups of students are performing poorly in a school in which the majority of students are doing very well. (Ravitch, 76)

Effective Teaching: a movement to improve teaching performance based on the outcomes of educational research. (Johnson, 71) Education is still too frequently based on memorizing significant facts. Yet in a world where all facts are constantly at our fingertips, we can afford to spend more time teaching the skills necessary to not only learn facts but also learn the connections among them, evaluate the quality of information, discern larger patterns, and focus on the the deeper meaning inherent in those patterns. (Gore, 67)

Emergence of The Common Man: an historical period during which the idea developed that common people should receive at least a basic education as a means to a better life. One of its leaders was Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). (Johnson, 36)

Equal Education Opportunity: access to a similar education for all students, regardless of their cultural background or family circumstances. (Johnson, 62) According to this fundamental principle, schools are expected to provide a fair chance for all children to gain an education that will prepare them for full participation in U.S. society. (Ravitch, 88)

Faculty: the body of teachers and administrators at a school. (NCIt) The teaching staff and members of the administrative staff having academic rank in an educational institution. (MeSH)

Performance-Based Licensing: a system of professional licensing based on the use of multiple assessments that measure the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and “dispositions” to determine whether he or she can perform effectively in that profession. (Johnson, 15)

Teacher: one who instructs or educates others. (NCIt) A person who or thing which teaches or instructs; an instructor; especially a person employed to teach in a school. (Oxford) An immediately personal symbol of the educational process. (Bruner, 90)

Professor: a courtesy title for a teacher of the highest academic rank in a college or university. (NCIt)

K-12: the customary spectrum of grades in a school system, beginning with kindergarten and ending with the senior year in high school. A K-12 system is typically composed of elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. (Ravitch, 128) 

Liberal Arts: commonly used as a reference to general education as opposed to vocational education. The seven liberal arts of medieval “curriculum” consisted of grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. (Johnson, 32)

Multicultural Education: an approach to education that draws on the historical, cultural, and scientific contributions and experiences of a wide variety of racial, ethnic, national, and cultural groups. (Ravitch, 148) An educational strategy that values diversity, promotes social justice, and provides equality to all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, religion, or ability. (Johnson, 189)

Prekindergarten: a program for children who are too young to enter kindergarten (usually 3 or 4 years old). Designed to teach them social skills through activities and play. Just as kindergarten prepares children for 1st grade, prekindergarten prepares children for kindergarten. Because of the great increase in the proportion of working mothers, public preschool programs for very young children have become increasingly popular with parents. (Ravitch, 171) Also referred to as 'preschool.'

Primary Education: the first stage of a formal education, providing instruction at an elementary level in basic subjects for young children of school age. (Oxford) Also referred to as ‘elementary education.’

Secondary Education: of, pertaining to, or involved in, or designating education at the level next above “primary education.” (Oxford)

Segregation: legal and/or social separation of people on the basis of their race. (Johnson, 276) Differential treatment or unequal access to opportunities, based on group membership such as origin or ethnicity. (MeSH) Also referred as ‘racism.’

De Facto Segregation: the segregation of students resulting from circumstances such as housing patterns rather than law or school policy. (Johnson 276) Racial separation that occurs in a school or other public institution ‘in fact’ or ‘in practice,’ as a result of such factors as housing patterns or school enrollment and not because of legal requirements. (Ravitch, 71)

De Jure Segregation: racial separation that occurs in a school or other public institution as a result of laws that require separate facilities for people of different races. De jure segregations was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, in its ‘Brown v. Board of Education’ decision. (Ravitch, 71) The segregation of students on the basis of law, school policy, or a practice designed to accomplish such separation. (Johnson, 276)

Desegregation: the process of correcting illegal segregation. (Johnson, 276) The act of eliminating racial segregation, whether the cause of the segregation is de jury or de facto. (Ravitch, 71)

Integration: the process of mixing students of different races in school. (Johnson, 276) Policies and programs which ensure that displaced persons and chronic illnesses receive the support and social services needed to live in their communities. (MeSH)

Resegregation: a situation in which formerly integrated schools become segregated again because of changes in neighborhood population patterns. (Johnson, 276)

Standards: officially sanctioned descriptions of what a student is expected to learn and how well it should be learned in specific subjects taught in school. (Ravitch, 201) Statements of a desired outcome, which in education is usually a description of student learning. (Johnson, 304) Documents, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provide, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results. (NCIt) The development, testing, and application of standards of adequacy or acceptable performance (MeSH)

Accreditation: certification as complying with a standard set by non-governmental organizations, applied for by institutions, programs, and facilities on a voluntary basis. (MeSH) Recognition given to educational institutions that have met accepted standards applied by an outside agency. (Johnson, 14) Accreditation of teachers is usually referred to as ‘licensing’ or ‘certification.’ Schools are accredited in two ways: by voluntary regional accrediting associations and by state governments, which are legally responsible for public education. (Ravitch, 8-9)

Content Standards: standards that specify learning outcomes in a subject or discipline. For example, mathematics. (Johnson, 306) Standards that describe what students should know and be able to do in core academic subjects at each grade level. The purpose is to create a common “curriculum,” so that students who move from school to school or from district to district have access to the same curriculum and so that teachers know what they are supposed to teach. (Ravitch, 58)

Opportunity To Learn: standards that identify the instructional resources, assessments, and system structures required to create the proper conditions of students to achieve content and performance standards. (Johnson, 306) Standards that measure the extent to which key education resources … are provided at a school site or in a district or state. Providing opportunity to learn means fostering learning and development by making up the difference between the resources available to the most and (available to) the least privileged students. (Ravitch, 159)

Power Standards: a reduced set of standards that focuses on the most critical learning outcomes that must be taught and learned within each school year. (Johnson, 341) Efforts by state or district officials to identify the knowledge and skills that are absolutely essential for students to learn. A subset of the complete list of standards for each grade and subject. Minimum credentials that every student should learn before advancing to the next grade. (Ravitch, 170)

Rubric: set of criteria for evaluating student work or scoring tests. Needed to minimize subjective judgments… (Ravitch, 186) A designation, a category; an injunction; a general rule; an established custom. (Oxford) A  Scoring guides that describe what learners should know and be able to do at different levels of competence, such as 'developing,'  'proficient,' and 'advanced.' (Johnson, 310)

Standardized Tests: a test designed to be administered and scored in a standard, consistent manner. The same format for all takers. “Norm-referenced (assessment)” and criteria-referenced (assessment)” are types of standardized tests. (Ravitch, 202) Developed during the pasty sixty years in an attempt to measure different kinds of aptitude, learning, motivation, and virtually every aspect of education. (Johnson, 64)

Students: individuals enrolled in a school or formal educational program. (MeSH) A person engaged in or fond of study. (Oxford)

Dual Identified Student: … students who have been identified by tests or other measures as unusually intelligent or talented. Gifted with special needs. Children with high potential and abilities may also have learning problems that act as a roadblock for the development of their gifts. Living and teaching these children can be extremely confusing. Easily misperceived as lazy, stubborn, careless, or unmotivated. May include 'GT/LD', 'GT/ADD,'  'GT/Dyslexic,'  'GT/Asperger's/Autistic,' and 'GT/Dysgraphic.' (NAGC) Also referred to as ‘twice-exceptional.’

English Language Learners: a student whose home language is not English and who has not yet acquired proficiency in English. (Ravitch, 87) Students whose first language is other than English and who therefore are learning English at the same time they are learning the content specified in the curriculum standards. (Johnson, 344) A national-origin-minority student who is limited English proficient. Term highlights accomplishments rather than deficits. (OCR)

Gifted Student: someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression. Those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude or competence in one or more domains. (NAGC) A child or adolescent who, when compared to others of the same age or experience, exhibits capability of high performance in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas, possesses an unusual capacity for leadership or excels in specific academic fields. (MeSH) Also referred to as 'gifted and talented.'

Special Education Needs Student: students with disabilities that must be addressed by their teachers and their school, as required by federal law. (Ravitch, 200) Students with visual or hearing impairments, students with "behavior disorders," and students with a range of other exceptionalities. (Johnson, 61) Education of the individual who markedly deviates intellectually, physically, socially, or emotionally from those considered to be normal, thus requiring special instruction. (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘special education’ and ‘special ed.’