Aptitude • One’s ability for learning a task, skill, concept, or body of knowledge
Assessment • The act of measuring student learning
Authentic Assessment • A measure of student learning that relies on “actual” student performance of the task, skill, or concept being measured.
Behavior • Any action or reaction on the part of an individual
Block Scheduling • A school scheduling pattern in which at least part of the daily schedule is organized into larger blocks of time (e.g., more than 60 minutes)
Bloom’s Taxonomy • A classification of levels of intellectual behaviors important in learning • It includes the levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Carnegie Unit • A numeric rubric designed for the purpose of assigning course credit • Carnegie units are used by schools to establish a student’s grade-level classification, transfer grade-level placement, and graduation status.
Classroom Climate • The “environment” that is experienced by students and by the teacher within a class or lab setting • The climate may be “warm” or “cold”—inviting or distant.
Cognition • The intellectual behaviors that make “Thinking” possible
Competency • A successful demonstration of student performance reflecting a task performed by workers in a particular job or profession
Competency Testing • Systematic measurement of a student’s ability to perform a prescribed task or skill that has relevance to a specific job or profession
Constructivism • A teaching method in which learners actively “construct” their own knowledge and meaning from their experience
Contextualization • Providing real-world relevance, meaning, and “connection” to the learning opportunity or activity
Criterion-Referenced Test • Assessments that measure what a student “knows” or “can do” relative to a pre-determined standard or benchmark for a particular task, skill, or concept
Curriculum • A planned, systematic course of study for a particular field, discipline, or subject
Curriculum Integration • Melding together aspects of two or more subjects, e.g., animal science and biology, to enhance the student’s learning experience and deepen one’s knowledge and understanding of the course content
Curriculum Materials • All of the resources at a teacher’s disposal that can be used to facilitate student learning for a given subject
Evaluation • Assigning “value” to what has been assessed or measured about student learning
High Stakes Testing • Assessments whose outcomes hold high-value for the student • Frequently, these measures are used to determine a student’s readiness for advancement in grade, one’s eligibility for high school graduation, or one’s suitability for college admission.
Higher Order Thinking Skills • Increasingly more complex and abstract levels of cognition or ways of thinking • They include the behaviors of application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Instruction • A set and/or series of teaching behaviors that are exercised with the objective of facilitating student learning
Interest Approach • A pre-planned, purposeful act by the teacher that is intended to arouse and stimulate a student’s desire to learn more about a given subject • Also called the “mental set” or the “anticipatory set”
Learning • A change in behavior • Ideally, the behavioral change is positive in nature
Learning Objectives • Goals for the learner that describe what he or she will be able to do at the end of a lesson • The objectives must include measurable behaviors that can be demonstrated by the learner
Learning Style • How a person perceives and processes information • Individuals have “preferred” learning styles, e.g., visual, kinesthetic (tactile), and auditory
Lesson Plan • A written document that describes the systematic, orderly procedure that a teacher will follow when facilitating learning experiences
Lower Order Thinking Skills • The simplest or most “basic” forms of cognition, including the behaviors knowing (remembering) and comprehension (understanding)
Motivation • Anything such as a mood or desire that makes a person do something rather than not • The reason(s) for doing anything
Practice • The opportunity to apply one’s learning of a task, skill, or concept under either simulated or real conditions
Rubric • A rating scale and list of criteria by which student knowledge, skills, and/or performance can be assessed
Standardized Test • A systematic sample of student performance that is obtained under prescribed conditions and scored according to definite rules • A student’s performance may be compared to a normative group for the purpose of assigning “relative” value, i.e., a norm-referenced test.
Student Achievement • A student’s performance with respect to specified learning standards. • An individual’s performance falls at some point along a continuum from no proficiency at all to perfect performance.
Teaching • The act of facilitating student learning • The work of a teacher
Unit Plan of Instruction • A collection or series of lesson plans (usually 3 or more) that are aimed at teaching one major topic, idea, or concept.