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In the theories of Jean Piaget: the modification of internal representations in order to accommodate a changing knowledge of reality.


Holding schools responsible for what students learn.


The adoption of the behavior patterns of the surrounding culture.


The amount a student has learned in a given area..

advanced organizers

A framework for understanding the material to be taught, which is introduced prior to the lesson.

affective domain

Attitudinal and emotional areas of learning, such as values and feelings.

affective objectives

Learning physical and perceptional ability (Health and Exercise).

Aptitude Test

A test designed to predict a person's future performance; aptitude is the capacity to learn.

assertive discipline

Classroom management approach (Canter)
based on establishing clear limits and
expectations, insisting on acceptable
student behavior and delivering appropriate
consequences when rules are broken.


Process of changing one's own culture to the dominant cultural norms.

at risk students

A term used to refer to children who are not currently identified as handicapped or disabled but who are considered to have greater than usual chance of development.

behavior disorder

Problem when behavior deviates so much from appropriate behaviors for the child's age group that it significantly interferes with child growth and development.

behavior objective

A form for writing an instructional objective that emphasizes precision and careful delineation of expected student behaviors the testing situation and a performance criterion.

bottom-up processing

Starting with skills and moving to whole knowledge, starting with parts and working toward the whole. An example is learning sounds, then words, then sentences, etc.

Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education

A landmark decision of the United States Supreme court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students and denying black children equal educational opportunities unconstitutional.

bilingual education

Second language instruction in which students are instructed in academic subject areas in their native language while simultaneously being taught to speak and write in the second language.


An uncritical, non-evaluative process of generating associated ideas.

Jerome Bruner

Discovery learning and constructivism.

Chapter 1- Educational Improvement Act

Federal funds aimed at offering educational support for minority, low-income, and underachieving students.

classical conditioning

Conditioning that pairs a neutral stimulus with a stimulus that evokes a reflex (first identified by Pavlov).

classroom management

Techniques used to maintain a healthy learning environment, relatively free of behavior problems.

code of ethics

Formal statement of appropriate professional behaviors.

cognitive domain

In Bloom's Taxonomy, memory and reasoning objectives. The area of learning that involves the acquisition and utilization of knowledge.

cognitive styles

The alternative processes by which learners acquire knowledge.

compensatory education

Programs designed to prevent or remediate learning problems among students from lower socioeconomic status communities.

competency based teacher education

The general process by which the state provides a credential to an individual.


The principle (which Piaget believed to be a part of concrete operational reasoning) that properties such as mass, volume, and number remain the same despite changes in the forms of objects.

convergent thinker

a thinker who focuses on the problem as stated and tries to synthesize information and knowledge to achieve a solution

cooperative learning

Approach to instruction in which students work with a small group of peers to achieve a common goal and help one another learn.

core curriculum

a common course of study for all students often called for by essentialist reforms in the 1980's

criterion referenced test

A test that describes the specific types of skills, tasks, or knowledge of an individual relative to a well-defined mastery criterion. The content of criterion-referenced tests is limited to certain well-defined objectives.

critical thinking

One's ability to analyze situations critically.

cultural pluralism

a condition in which many cultures coexist within a society and maintain their cultural differences


All the courses of study offered by an educational institution


A process whereby a ghiger central source of responsibility and authority assign certain responsibility and authority to a subordinate position. Example: site-based management.

De Facto Segregation

segregation "by fact," i.e., segregation that results from such factors as housing patterns rather than law.


reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)

De Jure Segregation

Segregation that is imposed by law.

diagnostic test

Formative test to determing students areas of weakness.

discovery learning

A consructivist approach. Students begin learning with an activiy designed to lead them to particular concepts or conclusions. Students acquire basic and advanced knowledge in random order. (Bruner's approach)


in Piaget's theory, the "out of balance" state that occurs when a person realizes that his or her current ways of thinking are not working to solve a problem or understand a situation

divergent thinker

An open ended type of thinking that extends in different directions and considers multiple answers to a question.

due process

A judicial requirement that enacted laws may not contain provisions that result in the unfair, arbitrary, or unreasonable treatment of an individual.


Piaget's term for the tendency to seek a stable balance among cognitive elements; achieved through a balance between assimilation and accommodation.

Erik Erickson

A neo-Freudian psychologist that hypothesized that people face pass through 8 social development stages from infancy to old age. Each challenge has an outcome that affects a persons social and personality development.


The principles of right and wrong that guide an individual in making decisions.

ethnic group

A group of people who share a common culture and ancestry.


A conditioning process in which the reinforcer is removed and a conditioned response becomes independent of the conditioned stimulus.

extrinsic motivation

Motivation reflecting a desire for external rewards, such as wealth or the respect of others.

field independent learners

Students who are not as dependent on the teacher, other students and the learning environment.

field dependent learners

Students who learn best with teacher and peer interaction and who rely heavily on the learning environment.

fixed interval schedule

In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.

fixed ratio schedule

Schedule of reinforcement in which a specific number of correct responses is required before reinforcement can be obtained.

formative evaluation

Evaluation conducted before or during instruction to facilitate instructional planning and enhance student's learning.


Transfer of a response learned to one stimulus to a similar stimulus (psychology).

William Glasser

A different conceptualization of human needs and behavior based on control theory.

grade equivalent score

Measure of grade level based on comparison with norming samples from each grade.

Head Start

A federally funded preschool program for children from low-income families that also provides healthcare, nutrition services, and social services( part of the economic opportunity act of 1964 during the Johnson administration).


Sets of strategies, rather than strict rules, that act as guidelines for discovery-oriented problem solving.

hidden curriculum

Values or behaviors that students learn indirectly over the course of their schooling because of the structure of the educational system and the teaching methods used.

homogeneous grouping

An educational practice in which students of similar abilities are placed within the same instructional groups.

House Bill 72

Series of education reforms in TX headed by Ross Perot that gave higher teacher salaries, more teacher requirements, and the no pass no play rule.


Clear nonaccusatory statement of how something is affecting you practically and emotionally.

Individual Education Program (IEP)

An individualized education plan and related services developed for each student with a disability.

inductive reasoning

Reasoning from detailed facts to general principles.


Process of bringing people of different races in schools together.

intrinsic motivation

Type of motivation in which a person performs an action because the act itself is rewarding or satisfying in some internal manner.


Theorist who claimed individuals went through a series of stages in the process of moral development (Theory of Moral Development).

Lau vs. Nichols

Supreme Court rule that schools that do not provide special help for children with limited English are limiting their civil rights.This is landmark legislation for bilingual education in the U.S.(1974)

learning center

A specific area in the classroom where students can work at their own ability levels and where materials and activities may be used to develop knowledge in a given subject area (s).

learning disability

A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involving understanding or in using language, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to speak, think, listen, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.

least restrictive environment

A legal requirement that children with special needs be assigned to the most general educational context in which they can be expected to learn.


The practice of educating students with special needs in regular classes during specific time periods based on their skills.

Abraham Maslow

Theory: "Hierarchy of Needs" Maslow is known for establishing a theory of a hierarchy of needs in which certain lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs can be met.

mastery instruction/learning

An approach in which the form of instruction and the time available for learning are based on the individual needs of the student. instructional objectives are defined and taught directly. Immediate feedback is provided to the student.


The arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores.


The score that falls exactly in the center of a distribution of scores.

mental retardation

A condition of limited mental ability, indicated by an intelligence score below 70 and difficulty in adapting to the demands of life.


Knowledge and thoughts about one's own cognitive processes, as well as control of those cognitive processes.


The most frequently occurring score in a distribution; it is the simplest measure of central tendency to determine.

Morrill Act

(1862) Federal law that gave land to western states to build agricultural and engineering colleges.

multicultural education

Instruction that integrates throughout the curriculum the perspectives and experiences of numerous cultural groups.

Nation At Risk

1983 National Commission report calling for extensive educational reforms, including more academic course requirements, more stringent college entrance requirements, upgraded and updated textbooks, and longer school days and year.

norm referenced test

A test designed to indicate how an individual performs in comparison to others (such as others of the same grade level or age).

normal curve

A graph of frequency distribution shaped like a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve; a graph of normal distribution.

Northwest Ordinance

The law that advocated some sort of elementary education should be provided free, at public expense and under public control, for everyone who could not afford or did not want private schooling.

operant conditioning

Learning that is strengthened when behavior is followed by positive reinforcement.

Jean Piaget

Swiss psychologist remembered for his studies of cognitive development in children (1896-1980).

programmed instruction

A set of instructional materials that students can use to teach themselves about a particular topic. It features self-pacing, immediate feedback, and division of materials into small units (frames).


A form of educational philosophy that sees nature as ever-changing because the world is always changing and a new situation requires solutions to problems; learners must develop as problem solvers.

Public Law 94-142

The Educational of All Handicapped Children's Act: guanteed a free, appropriate public education to each child with a disability in every state and locality across the country (1975).


Outcome or consequence of a behavior that weakens the probability of the behavior.


A stimulus that strengthens or weakens the behavior that produced it.


The ability of a test to yield nearly the same score when the same people are tested and then retested on the same test or an alternative form of the test.


An educational program designed to teach a person to overcome a disability through training and education.


In cognitive learning, large, basic units for organizing information. Schemata serve as guides describing what to expect in a given situation, how elements should fit together, the usual relationships among elements, etc. A schema is like a model or stereotype.

school board

The governing body of a school district responsible for the development or approval of educational policies, approval of the budget, hiring of the superintendent, and other personnel matters.

self fulfilling prophecy

A phenomenon whereby observers bring about what they expect to perceive.


An operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.

B. F. Skinner

An American psychologist known for his research in the area of learning and conditioning. Also know for the "Skinner box".

Smith Hughes Act

Legislation for government funding to go to public schools to provide vocational support and education in 1917.

socioeconomic status (SES)

A person's position in society as determined by income, wealth, occupation, education, place of residence, and other factors.

Socratic Method

The method of teaching used by the Greek philosopher Socrates. It employs a question-and-answer format to lead pupils to see things for themselves by using their own reason.

spiral curriculum

Bruner's process of building on a student's previous kowledge to introduce new and broader concepts that are related.

standard deviation

A computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score (the square root of the variance).

standardized test

A test with uniform procedures for administration and scoring. Many standardized tests allow a person's performance to be compared with the performance of other individuals.


Whole-number scores from 1 to 9, each representing a wide range of raaw scores. Stanine scores combine some of the properties of percentile ranks with some of the properties of standard scores.

student centered (learner centered)

Instruction which considers the ability and needs of the student in the planning process.

summative evaluation

Evaluation conducted after instruction to assess students' final achievement.

time on task

Time spent actively engaged in learning the task at hand.

time out

A disciplinary technique in which a child is separated from other people for a specified time (usually one minute for each year old the child is).


The process of monitoring a student's achievement over a period of time, usually years. This information is often used for placement and instructional purposes.


Occurs when a student connects the new knowledge being presented to familiar concepts.

values-centered curriculum

Places special emphasis on moral and ethical issue. More popularly known as character education

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