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Absence Seizure:
A seizure involving only a small part of the brain that causes a child to lose contact briefly.

Academic Learning Time:
Time when students are actually succeeding at the learning task.

Academic Tasks:
The work the student must accomplish, including the content covered and the mental operations required.

Altering existing schemes or creating new ones in response to new information.

Achievement Tests:
Standardized tests measuring how much students have learned in a given content area.

Technique for remembering names, phrases, or steps by using the first letter of each word to form a new, memorable word.

Action Zone:
Area of a classroom where the greatest amount of interaction takes place

Active Teaching:
Teaching characterized by high levels of teacher explanation, demonstration, and interaction with students.

Adjustment to the environment.

Adolescent Egocentrism:
Assumption that everyone else shares one's thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

Advance Organizer:
Statement of inclusive concepts to introduce and sum up material that follows.

Affective Domain:
Objectives focusing on attitudes and feelings.

Bold, direct action that is intended to hurt someone else or take property; unprovoked attack.

Step-by-step procedure for solving a problem; prescription for solutions.

Allocated Time:
Time set aside for learning.

Analogical Thinking:
Heuristic in which a person limits the search for solutions to situations that are similar to the one at hand.

Anchored Instruction:
A type of problem-based learning that uses a complex interesting situation as an anchor for learning.

Having some typically male and some typically female characteristics apparent in one individual.

Anorexia Nervosa:
Eating disorder characterized by very limited food intake.

Events that precede an action.

General uneasiness, a feeling of tension.

Applied Behaviour Analysis:
The application of behavioural learning principles to understand and change behaviour.

Capability for learning knowledge or skills.

Aptitude Tests:
Tests meant to predict future performance.

Physical and psychological reactions causing a person to be alert, attentive, wide awake.

Articulation Disorders:
Any of a variety of pronunciation difficulties.

Articulatory Loop:
A memory rehearsal system of about 1.5 seconds.

Assertive Discipline:
Clear, firm, unhostile response style.

Procedures used to obtain information about student performance.

Fitting new information into existing schemes.

Assisted Learning:
Providing strategic help in the initial stages of learning, which gradually diminishes as students gain independence.

Associative Stage:
Individual steps of a procedure are combined or "chunked" into larger units.

Attainment Value:
The importance of doing well on a task; how success on the task meets personal needs.

Focus on a stimulus.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder:
Current term for disruptive behaviour disorders marked by overactivity, excessive difficulty sustaining attention, or impulsiveness.

Attribution Theories:
Descriptions of how individuals' explanations, justifications, and excuses influence their motivation and behaviour.

Authentic Assessment:
Measurement of important abilities using procedures that simulate the application of these abilities to real-life problems.

Authentic Tasks:
Tasks that have some connection to real-life problems the students will face outside the classroom.

Authentic Tests:
Assessment procedures that test skills and abilities as they would be applied in real-life situations.

Authoritarian Personality:
Rigidly conforming to belief that society is naturally competitive, with "better" people reaping the rewards.

Automated Basic Skills:
Skills that are applied without conscious thought.

The result of learning to perform a behaviour or thinking process so thoroughly that the performance is automatic and does not require effort.

Autonomous Stage:
Final stage in the learning of automated skills. The procedure is fine-tuned and becomes "automatic."


Irritating or unpleasant.

Basic Skills:
Clearly structured knowledge that is needed for later learning and that can be taught step by step.

Behavioural Learning Theories:
Explanations of learning that focus on external events as the cause of changes in observable behaviour.

Behavioural Objectives:
Instructional objectives stated in terms of observable behaviour.

Behaviour Modification:
Systematic application of antecedents and consequences to change behaviour.

Being Needs:
Maslow's three higher-level needs, sometimes called growth needs.

Between-Class Ability Grouping:
System of grouping in which students are assigned to classes based on their measured ability or their achievements.

The ability to speak two languages fluently.

Bimodal Distribution:
A frequency distribution with two modes.

Blended Families:
Parents, children, and stepchildren merged into families through remarriages.

Bottom-Up Processing:
Perceiving based on noticing separate defining features and assembling them into a recognizable pattern.

Generating many ideas without stopping to evaluate each one.

Eating disorder characterized by overeating, then getting rid of the food by self-induced vomiting or laxatives.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
Legislation that protects the rights of all Canadians and, in particular, Canadians who are members of minority groups, including Canadians with disabilities.

CAPS: A strategy that can be used in reading literature:
Characters, Aim of story, Problem, Solution.

Case Study:
Intensive study of one person or one situation.

Central Tendency:
A typical score in a distribution of scores.

Cerebral Palsy:
Condition involving a range of motor or coordination difficulties due to brain damage.

Chain Mnemonics:
Memory strategies that associate one element in a series with the next element.

Grouping individual bits of data into meaningful larger units.

Classical Conditioning:
Association of automatic responses with new stimuli.

Grouping objects into categories.

Classroom Management:
Techniques used to maintain a healthy learning environment, relatively free of behaviour problems.

Describes a social process in which people interact and negotiate (usually verbally) to create an understanding or to solve a problem. The final product is shaped by all participants.

Coding System:
A hierarchy of ideas or concepts.

Cognitive Apprenticeship:
A relationship in which a less experienced learner acquires knowledge and skills under the guidance of an expert.

Cognitive Behaviour Modification:
Procedures based on both behavioural and cognitive learning principles for changing your own behaviour by using self-talk and self-instruction.

Cognitive Development:
Gradual, orderly changes by which mental processes become more complex and sophisticated.

Cognitive Domain:
In Bloom's taxonomy, memory and reasoning objectives.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
Suggests that events affect motivation through the individual's perception of the events as controlling behaviour or providing information.

Cognitive Objectives:
Instructional objectives stated in terms of higher-level thinking operations.

Cognitive Stage:
The initial learning of an automated skill when we rely on general problem-solving approaches to make sense of steps or procedures.

Cognitive Styles:
Different ways of perceiving and organizing information.

Cognitive View of Learning:
A general approach that views learning as an active mental process of acquiring, remembering, and using knowledge.

Collective Monologue:
Form of speech in which children in a group talk but do not really interact or communicate.

Collective Self-Esteem:
The sense of the value of a group, such as an ethnic group, that you belong to.

Community of Practice:
Social situation or context in which ideas are judged useful or true.

The principle that changes in one dimension can be offset by changes in another.

Complex Learning Environments:
Problems and learning situations that mimic the ill-structured nature of real life.

In an information-processing view, basic problem-solving processes underlying intelligence.

A general category of ideas, objects, people, or experiences whose members share certain properties.

Concept Mapping:
Student's diagram of his or her understanding of a concept.

Conceptual Change Teaching in Science:
A method that helps students understand (rather than memorize) concepts in science by using and challenging the students' current ideas.

Concrete Operations:
Mental tasks tied to concrete objects and situations.

Conditional Knowledge:
"Knowing when and why" to use declarative and procedural knowledge.

Conditioned Response (CR):
Learned response to a previously neutral stimulus.

Conditioned Stimulus (CS):
Stimulus that evokes an emotional or physiological response after conditioning.

Confidence Interval:
Range of scores within which an individual's particular score is likely to fall.

Connectionist Models:
Views of knowledge as being stored in patterns of connections among basic processing units in the brain.


Events that are brought about by an action.

Principle that some characteristics of an object remain the same despite changes in appearance.

Constructed-Response Format:
Assessment procedures that require the student to create an answer instead of selecting an answer from a set of choices.

Constructivism (also Constructivist Approach):
View that emphasizes the active role of the learner in building understanding and making sense of information.

The physical or emotional backdrop associated with an event.

Association of two events because of repeated pairing.

Contingency Contract:
A formal agreement, often written and signed, between the teacher and an individual student specifying what the student must do to earn a particular privilege or reward.

Continuous Reinforcement Schedule:
Presenting a reinforcer after every appropriate response.

Contract System:
System in which each student works for a particular grade according to agreed-upon standards.

Convergent Questions:
Questions that have a single correct answer.

Convergent Thinking:
Narrowing possibilities to a single answer.

Cooperative Learning:
Arrangement in which students work in mixed-ability groups and are rewarded on the basis of the success of the group.

Cooperative Teaching:
Collaboration between regular and special education teachers.

Statistical description of how closely two variables are related.

Imaginative, original thinking or problem solving.

Criterion-Referenced Grading:
Assessment of each student's mastery of each course objective.

Criterion-Referenced Testing:
Testing in which scores are compared to a set standard of performance.

Critical Thinking:
Evaluating conclusions by logically and systematically examining the problem, the evidence, and the solution.

Cueing: Providing a stimulus that "sets up" desired behaviour.

Culturally Compatible Classrooms:
Classrooms in which procedures, rules, grouping strategies, attitudes, and teaching methods do not cause conflicts with the students' culturally influenced ways of learning and interacting.

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy:
Excellent teaching for students of colour that includes academic success and developing/maintaining cultural competence and critical consciousness to challenge the status quo.

Cultural Tools:
The real tools (computers, scales, etc.) and symbol systems (numbers, language, graphs) that allow people in a society to communicate, think, solve problems, and create knowledge.

The knowledge, values, attitudes, and traditions that guide the behaviour of a group of people and allow them to solve the problems of living in their environment.

Culture-Fair/Culture-Free Test:
A test without cultural bias.

Curriculum Alignment:
The quality and degree to which a standardized achievement test's items correspond to the curriculum students are taught in school.

Curriculum-Based Assessment (CBA):
Evaluation method using frequent tests of specific skills and knowledge.

Data-Based Instruction:
Assessment method using daily probes of specific-skill mastery.

The weakening and fading of memories with the passage of time.

Focusing on more than one aspect at a time.

Declarative Knowledge:
Verbal information; facts; "knowing that" something is the case.

Deductive Reasoning:
Drawing conclusions by applying rules or principles; logically moving from a general rule or principle to a specific solution.

Deficiency Needs:
Maslow's four lower-level needs, which must be satisfied first.

Defining Attributes:
Distinctive features shared by members of a category.

Descriptive Studies:
Studies that collect detailed information about specific situations, often using observation, surveys, interviews, recordings, or a combination of these methods.

Orderly, adaptive changes we go through from conception to death.

Developmental Crisis:
A specific conflict whose resolution prepares the way for the next stage.

Developmental Disabilities:
Significantly below-average intellectual and adaptive social behaviour, evident before age 18.

Deviation IQ:
Score based on statistical comparison of individuals' performance with the average performance of others in that age group.

Description of a student's current knowledge, skills, or ability.

Diagnostic Tests:
Individually administered tests to identify special learning problems.

Direct Instruction/Explicit Teaching:
Systematic instruction for mastery of basic skills, facts, and information.

The inability to do something specific such as walk or hear.

Discovery Learning:
Bruner's approach, in which students work on their own to discover basic principles.

Treating particular categories of people unequally.

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.

Wrong answers offered as choices in a multiple-choice item.

Distributed Practice:
Practice that occurs in brief periods with rest intervals.

Divergent Questions:
Questions that have no single correct answer.

Divergent Thinking:
Coming up with many possible solutions.

Domain-Specific Knowledge:
Information that is useful in a particular situation or that applies only to one specific topic.

Domain-Specific Strategies:
Consciously applied skills to reach goals in a particular subject or problem area.

Dual Marking System:
System of assigning two grades, one reflecting achievement and the other effort, attitude, and actual ability.

Educational Psychology:
The discipline concerned with teaching and learning processes; applies the methods and theories of psychology and has its own as well.

Educationally Blind:
Needing Braille materials in order to learn.

Education or School Act:
Provincial legislation that governs education in elementary and secondary schools.

Assuming that others experience the world the way you do.

Ego-Involved Learners:
Students who focus on how well they are performing and how they are judged by others.

Eg-Rule Method:
Teaching or learning by moving from specific examples to general rules.

Adding and extending meaning by connecting new information to existing knowledge.

Elaborative Rehearsal:
Keeping information in working memory by associating it with something else you already know.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ):
Abilities to monitor your own and others' feelings and emotions, and to use this information to guide thinking and actions.

Empathetic Listening:
Hearing the intent and emotions behind what another says and reflecting them back by paraphrasing.

Engaged Time:
Time spent actively learning.

English as a Second Language (ESL):
Designation for programs and classes to teach English to students who are not native speakers of English.

Entity View of Ability:
Belief that ability is a fixed characteristic that cannot be changed.

Disorder marked by seizures and caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain.

Episodic Memory:
Long-term memory for information tied to a particular time and place, especially memory of the events in a person's life.

Search for mental balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment.

A cultural heritage shared by a group of people.

Ethnic pride:
A positive self-concept about one's racial or ethnic heritage

A descriptive approach to research that focuses on life within a group and tries to understand the meaning of events to the people involved.

Decision making about student performance and about appropriate teaching strategies.

Exceptional Students:
Students who have abilities or problems so significant that the students require special education or other services to reach their potential.

Executive Control Processes:
Processes such as selective attention, rehearsal, elaboration, and organization that influence encoding, storage, and retrieval of information in memory.

A specific example of a given category that is used to classify an item.

A performance test or demonstration of learning that is public and usually takes an extended time to prepare.

Expectancy x Value Theories:
Explanations of motivation that emphasize individuals' expectations for success combined with their valuing of the goal.

Research method in which variables are manipulated and the effects recorded.

Expert Teachers:
Experienced, effective teachers who have developed solutions for common classroom problems. Their knowledge of teaching process and content is extensive and well organized.

Explanatory Links:
Words and phrases such as "because" and "in order to" that specify the relationships between ideas.

Explicit Teaching:
See Direct Instruction. Expository Teaching: Ausubel's method-teachers present material in complete, organized form, moving from broadest to more specific concepts.

Gradual disappearance of a learned response.

Extrinsic Motivation:
Motivation created by external factors such as rewards and punishments.

Failure-Accepting Students:
Students who believe that their failures are due to low ability and that there is little they can do about it.

Failure-Avoiding Students:
Students who avoid failure by sticking to what they know, by not taking risks, or by claiming not to care about their performance.

Field Dependence:
Cognitive style in which patterns are perceived as wholes.

Field Independence:
Cognitive style in which separate parts of a pattern are perceived and analyzed.

Fine-Motor skills:
Voluntary body movements that involve the small muscles.

Finger Spelling:
Communication system that "spells out" each letter with a hand position.

Formal Operations:
Mental tasks involving abstract thinking and coordination of a number of variables.

Formative Assessment:
Ungraded testing used before or during instruction to aid in planning and diagnosis.

Frequency Distribution:
Record showing how many scores fall into set groups.

Functional Fixedness:
Inability to use objects or tools in a new way.

Gender Biases:
Different views of males and females, often favouring one gender over the other.

Gender-Role Identity:
Beliefs about characteristics and behaviour associated with one gender as opposed to the other.

Gender Schemas:
Organized networks of knowledge about what it means to be male or female.

Generalized Seizure:
A seizure involving a large portion of the brain.

General Knowledge:
Information that is useful in many different kinds of tasks; information that applies to many situations.

Sense of concern for future generations.

German for pattern or whole; Gestalt theorists hold that people organize their perceptions into coherent wholes.

Gifted Student:
A very bright, creative, and talented student.

What an individual strives to accomplish.

Goal-Directed Actions:
Deliberate actions toward a goal. Goal Structure: The way students relate to others who are also working toward a particular goal.

Good Behaviour Game:
Arrangement where a class is divided into teams and each team receives demerit points for breaking agreed-on rules of good behaviour.

Graded Membership:
The extent to which something belongs to a category.

Grade-Equivalent Score:
Measure of grade level based on comparison with norming samples from each grade.

Grading on the Curve:
Norm-referenced grading that compares students' performance to an average level.

Gross-Motor Skills:
Voluntary body movements that involve the large muscles.

Group Consequences:
Reinforcers or punishments given to a class as a whole for adhering to or violating rules of conduct.

Group Discussion:
Conversation in which the teacher does not have the dominant role; students pose and answer their own questions.

Group Focus:
The ability to keep as many students as possible involved in activities.

Guided Discovery:
An adaptation of discovery learning, in which the teacher provides some direction.

Halo Effect:
The tendency for a general impression of a person to influence our perception of any aspect of that person.

A disadvantage in a particular situation, sometimes caused by a disability.

Heritage Language Programs:
Programs that offer opportunities for students to receive instruction in their own language.

General strategy used in attempting to solve problems.

Hierarchy of Needs:
Maslow's model of seven levels of human needs, from basic physiological requirements to the need for self-actualization.

High-Road Transfer:
Application of abstract knowledge learned in one situation to a different situation.

Bar graph of a frequency distribution.

Humanistic Views:
Approaches to motivation that emphasize personal freedom, choice, self-determination, and striving for personal growth.

Behaviour disorder marked by atypical, excessive restlessness and inattentiveness.

Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning:
A formal-operations problem-solving strategy in which an individual begins by identifying all the factors that might affect a problem and then deduces and systematically evaluates specific solutions.

Principle that a person or object remains the same over time.

Identity Achievement:
Strong sense of commitment to life choices after free consideration of alternatives.

Identity Diffusion:
Uncentredness; confusion about who one is and what one wants.

Identity Foreclosure:
Acceptance of parental life choices without consideration of options.

Representations based on the physical attributes-the appearance-of information.

"I" Message:
Clear, non-accusatory statement of how something is affecting you.

Characterized by cognitive style of responding quickly but often inaccurately.

An object or event that encourages or discourages behaviour.

The practice of integrating exceptional students into regular education classrooms. The emphasis is on participation rather than placement.

Incremental View of Ability:
Belief that ability is a set of skills that can be changed.

Individualized Education Program (IEP):
Annually revised program for an exceptional student, detailing present achievement level, goals, and strategies, drawn up by teachers, parents, specialists, and (if possible) the student.

Inductive Reasoning:
Formulating general principles based on knowledge of examples and details.

Eagerness to engage in productive work. Information Processing: Human mind's activity of taking in, storing, and using information.

Willingness to begin new activities and explore new directions.

Inquiry Learning:
Approach in which the teacher presents a puzzling situation and students solve the problem by gathering data and testing their conclusions.

The ability to deal effectively with novel situations.

Instructional Conversation:
Situation in which students learn through interactions with teachers and/or other students.

Instructional Objective:
Clear statement of what students are intended to learn through instruction.

Occurs when exceptional students participate in activities with their non-exceptional peers.

Sense of self-acceptance and fulfillment.

Ability or abilities to acquire and use knowledge for solving problems and adapting to the world.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ):
Score comparing mental and chronological ages.

The process that occurs when remembering certain information is hampered by the presence of other information.

Intermittent Reinforcement Schedule:
Presenting a reinforcer after some but not all responses.

Process whereby children adopt external standards as their own.

Intersubjective Attitude:
A commitment to build shared meaning with others by finding common ground and exchanging interpretations.

Interval Schedule:
Length of time between reinforcers.

Intrinsic Motivation:
Motivation associated with activities that are their own reward.

Intrinsic or Interest Value:
The enjoyment a person gets from a task.

Intuitive Thinking:
Making imaginative leaps to correct perceptions or workable solutions.

A cooperative structure in which each member of a group is responsible for teaching other members one section of the material.

Joplin Plan:
See Non-Graded Elementary School.

Keyword Method:
System of associating new words or concepts with similar-sounding cue words and images.

KWL Plus:
A strategy to guide reading and inquiry: Before-What do I already know? What do I want to know? After-What have I learned?

The specialization of the two hemispheres (sides) of the brain cortex.

Learned Helplessness:
The expectation, based on previous experiences involving lack of control, that all one's efforts will lead to failure.

Process through which experience causes permanent change in knowledge or behaviour.

Learning Disability:
Problem with acquisition and use of language; may show up as difficulty with reading, writing, reasoning, and math.

Learning Goal:
A personal intention to improve abilities and understand, no matter how performance suffers.

Learning Preferences:
Preferred ways of studying and learning, such as using pictures instead of text, working with other people versus alone, learning in structured or in unstructured situations, and so on.

Learning Propensity Assessment Device:
Innovative method for testing the student's ability to benefit from teaching, consistent with Lev Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development.

Learning Strategies:
General plans for approaching learning tasks.

Learning Styles:
An individual's characteristic approaches to learning and studying, usually involving deep versus superficial processing of information.

Learning Tactics:
Specific techniques for learning, such as using mnemonics or outlining a passage.

Least Restrictive Placement:
The practice of placing exceptional students in the most regular educational settings possible, while ensuring they are successful and receive support appropriate to their special needs.

Organized explanation of a topic by a teacher.

Legitimate Peripheral Participation:
Genuine involvement in the work of the group, even if your abilities are undeveloped and contributions are small.

Levels of Processing Theory:
Theory that recall of information is based on how deeply it is processed.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP):
Descriptive term for students who have limited mastery of English.

Linguistic Comprehension:
Understanding of the meaning of sentences in word problems.

Loci Method:
Technique of associating items with specific places.

Locus of Causality:
The location-internal or external-of the cause of behaviour.

Long-Term Memory:
Permanent store of knowledge.

Low-Road Transfer:
Spontaneous and automatic transfer of highly practiced skills.

Low Vision:
Vision limited to close objects.

Maintenance Rehearsal:
Keeping information in working memory by repeating it to yourself.

Massed Practice:
Practise for a single extended period.

Mastery Experiences:
Our own direct experiences-the most powerful source of efficacy information.

Mastery Learning:
An approach to teaching and grading that requires students to achieve specific objectives before moving to the next unit or topic. Based on the assumption that every student is capable of achieving most of the objectives if given enough time and proper instruction.

Mastery-Oriented Students:
Students who focus on learning goals because they value achievement and see ability as improvable.

Genetically programmed, naturally occurring changes over time.

Arithmetical average.

Meaningful Verbal Learning:
Focused and organized relationships among ideas and verbal information.

Means-Ends Analysis:
Heuristic in which a goal is divided into sub-goals.

An evaluation expressed in quantitative (number) terms.

The middle score in a group of scores.

Melting Pot:
A metaphor for the absorption and assimilation of immigrants into the mainstream of society so that ethnic differences vanish.

Mental Age:
In intelligence testing, a score based on average abilities for that age group.

Knowledge about our own thinking processes.

Metalinguistic Awareness:
Understanding about one's own use of language.

Minority Group:
A group of people who have been socially disadvantaged-not always a minority in actual numbers.

Techniques for remembering; also, the art of memory.

The most frequently occurring score.

Changes in behaviour, thinking, or emotions that occur through observing another person-a model.

Individuals who speak only one language.

Morality of cooperation:
Stage of development wherein children realize that people make rules and people can change them.

Moral dilemmas:
Situations in which no single choice is clearly and indisputably right.

Moral realism:
Stage of development wherein children see rules as absolute.

Moral reasoning:
The thinking processes involved in judgments about questions of right and wrong.

Identity crisis; suspension of choices because of struggle.

Allows individuals to maintain their culture and identity while still being a respected part of the larger society.

An internal state that arouses, directs, and maintains behaviour.

Motivation to Learn:
The tendency to find academic activities meaningful and worthwhile and to try to benefit from them.

Movement Management:
Ability to keep lessons and groups moving smoothly.

Multicultural Education:
Education that teaches the value of cultural diversity.

Multiple Intelligences:
In Gardner's theory of intelligence, a person's eight separate abilities: logical-mathematical, verbal, musical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist.

Multiple Representations of Content:
Considering problems using various analogies, examples, and metaphors.

The process by which neural fibres are coated with a fatty sheath called myelin that makes message transfer more efficient.

Negative Correlation:
A relationship between two variables in which a high value on one is associated with a low value on the other. Example: height and distance from top of head to the ceiling.

Negative Reinforcement:
Strengthening behaviour by removing an aversive stimulus.

Neo-Piagetian Theories:
More recent theories that integrate findings about attention, memory, and strategy use with Piaget's insights about children's thinking and the construction of knowledge.

Neutral Stimulus:
Stimulus not connected to a response.

Non-Graded Elementary School/The Joplin Plan:
Arrangement wherein students are grouped by ability in particular subjects, regardless of their ages or grades.

Normal Distribution:
The most commonly occurring distribution, in which scores are distributed evenly around the mean. Norm Group: A group whose average score serves as a standard for evaluating any student's score on a test.

Norming Sample:
A large sample of students serving as a comparison group for scoring standardized tests.

Norm-Referenced Grading:
Assessment of students' achievement in relation to one another or a defined group.

Norm-Referenced Testing:
Testing in which scores are compared with the average performance of others.

Object Permanence:
The understanding that objects have a separate, permanent existence.

Objective Testing:
Kinds of tests that do not require interpretation in scoring, such as multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer, and fill-in.

Observational Learning:
Learning by observation and imitation of others.

Operant Conditioning:
Learning in which voluntary behaviour is strengthened or weakened by consequences or antecedents.

Voluntary (and generally goal-directed) behaviour emitted by a person or an animal.

Actions a person carries out by thinking them through instead of literally performing the actions.

Ongoing process of arranging information and experience into mental systems or categories.

Orthopedic Devices:
Devices such as braces and wheelchairs that aid people with physical disabilities.

Inclusion of nonmembers in a category; overextending a concept.

Supervising several activities at once.

Practising a skill past the point of mastery.

Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP):
Connectionist model that uses the brain's physical network of neurons as a metaphor for memory networks.

Paraphrase Rule:
Policy whereby listeners must accurately summarize what a speaker has said before being allowed to respond.

Participant Observation:
A method for conducting descriptive research in which the researcher becomes a participant in the situation in order to better understand life in that group.

Participation Structures:
Rules for how to take part in a given activity.

Part Learning:
Breaking a list of rote learning items into shorter lists.

Peg-Type Mnemonics:
Systems of associating items with cue words.

Percentage Grading:
System of converting class performances to percentage scores and assigning grades based on predetermined cutoff points.

Percentile Rank:
Percentage of those in the norming sample whose raw scores are the same as or below an individual's raw score.

Interpretation of sensory information.

Performance Goal:
A personal intention to seem competent or perform well in the eyes of others.

Personal Development:
Changes in personality that take place as one grows.

Perspective-Taking Ability:
Understanding that others have different feelings and experiences.

Physical Development:
Changes in body structure that take place as one grows.

A collection of the student's work in an area, showing growth, self-reflection, and achievement.

Positive Correlation:
A relationship between two variables in which the two increase or decrease together. Example: calorie intake and weight gain. Positive

Practising correct responses immediately after errors.

Positive Reinforcement:
Strengthening behaviour by presenting a desired stimulus after the behaviour.

A method for studying text that involves six steps: Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review.

Prejudgment, or irrational generalization about an entire category of people. Premack Principle: Principle stating that a more- preferred activity can serve as reinforcer for a less- preferred activity.

The stage before a child masters logical mental operations.

Presentation Punishment:
Decreasing the chances that behaviour will occur again by presenting an aversive stimulus following the behaviour; also called Type I punishment.

Formative test for assessing students' knowledge, readiness, and abilities. Principle: Established relationship between factors.

Private Speech:
Children's self-talk, which guides their thinking and action. Eventually these verbalizations are internalized as silent inner speech.

Any situation in which you are trying to reach some goal and must find a means to do so.

Problem-Based Learning:
Methods that provide students with realistic problems that don't necessarily have "right" answers.

Problem Solving:
Creating new solutions for problems.

Procedural Knowledge:
Knowledge that is demonstrated when we perform a task; "knowing how."

Procedural Memory:
Long-term memory for how to do things.

Prescribed steps for an activity.

The contents of procedural memory; rules about what actions to take, given certain conditions.

A reminder that follows a cue to make sure the person reacts to the cue.

The smallest unit of information that can be judged true or false.

Propositional Network:
Set of interconnected concepts and relationships in which long-term knowledge is held.

Best representative of a category.

Psychomotor Domain:
Physical ability and coordination objectives.

Describing the relation of the individual's emotional needs to the social environment.

The period in early adolescence when individuals begin to reach physical and sexual maturity.

Process that weakens or suppresses behaviour.

Pygmalion Effect:
Exceptional progress by a student as a result of high teacher expectations for that student; named for the mythological king who made a statue, then caused it to be brought to life.

A group of people who share common biological traits that are seen as self-defining by the people of the group.

Radical Constuctivism:
Theory of knowledge and learning asserting that all knowledge is individually constructed and equally valid.

Without any definite pattern; following no rule.

Distance between the highest and the lowest scores in a group.

Ratio Schedule:
Number of responses between reinforcers.

A five-step reading strategy: Review headings; Examine boldface words; Ask "What do I expect to learn?"; Do it-Read; Summarize in your own words.

Parts of the human body that receive sensory information.

Reciprocal Questioning:
Approach where groups of two or three students ask and answer each other's questions after a lesson or presentation.

Reciprocal Teaching:
A method, based on modelling, to teach reading comprehension strategies.

Format of teacher questioning, student response, and teacher feedback.

Recreating information by using memories, expectations, logic, and existing knowledge.

Thoughtful and inventive. Reflective teachers think back over situations to analyze what they did and why and to consider how they might improve learning for their students.

Use of consequences to strengthen behaviour.

Any event that follows behaviour and increases the chances that the behaviour will occur again.

Consistency of test results.

Removal Punishment:
Decreasing the chances that a behaviour will occur again by removing a pleasant stimulus following the behaviour; also called Type II punishment.

Criticisms for misbehaviour; rebukes.

Resistance Culture:
Group values and beliefs about refusing to adopt the behaviour and attitudes of the majority culture.

Resource Room:
Classroom with special materials and a specially trained teacher.

Responses (generally automatic or involuntary) elicited by specific stimuli.

Observable reaction to a stimulus.

Response Cost:
Punishment by loss of reinforcers.

Response Generalization:
Responding in the same way to similar stimuli.

Response Set:
Rigidity; tendency to respond in the most familiar way.

Conceiving of a problem in a new or different way.

Process of searching for and finding information in long-term memory.

A characteristic of Piagetian logical operations-the ability to think through a series of steps, then mentally reverse the steps and return to the starting point; also called reversible thinking.

Reversible Thinking:
Thinking backward, from the end to the beginning See also Reversibility.

Revise Option:
In a contract system, the chance to revise and improve work.

An object or event that we think is attractive and provide as a consequence of a behaviour.

Ripple Effect:
"Contagious" spreading of behaviour through imitation.

Rote Memorization:
Remembering information by repetition without necessarily understanding the meaning of the information.

A tool for rating a test answer by comparing it against several sets of characteristics, often with examples at each rating level.

Rule-Eg Method:
Teaching or learning by moving from general principles to specific examples.

Statements specifying expected and forbidden behaviour; dos and don'ts.

Requiring a person to repeat problem behaviour past the point of interest or motivation.

Support for learning and problem solving. The support could be clues, reminders, encouragement, breaking the problem down into steps, providing an example, or anything else that allows the student to grow in independence as a learner.

Schema-Driven Problem Solving:
Recognizing a problem as a "disguised" version of an old problem for which one already has a solution.

A basic structure for organizing information; concept.

Mental systems or categories of perception and experience.

Scoring Rubrics:
Rules that are used to determine the quality of a student performance.

Schema or expected plan for the sequence of steps in a common event such as buying groceries or ordering take-out pizza.

Scripted Cooperation:
A learning strategy in which two students take turns summarizing material and criticizing the summaries.

Independent classroom work.

Fulfilling one's potential.

Our perceptions about ourselves.

The need to experience choice and control in what we do and how we do it.

A person's sense of being able to deal effectively with a particular task.

The value each of us places on our own characteristics, abilities, and behaviour.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
A groundless expectation that is confirmed because it has been expected.

Talking oneself through the steps of a task.

Use of behavioural learning principles to change your own behaviour.

Self-Regulated Learners:
Learners who have a combination of academic learning skills and self-control that makes learning easier; they have the skill and the will to learn.

Providing yourself with positive consequences, contingent on accomplishing particular behaviour.

Semantic Memory:
Memory for meaning.

Semiotic Function:
The ability to use symbols-language, pictures, signs, or gestures-to represent actions or objects mentally.

Involving the senses and motor activity.

Sensory Memory:
System that holds sensory information very briefly.

Serial-Position Effect:
The tendency to remember the beginning and the end but not the middle of a list.

Arranging objects in sequential order according to one aspect, such as size, weight, or volume.

Reinforcing each small step of progress toward a desired goal or behaviour.

Sign Language:
Communication system of hand movements that symbolize words and concepts.

Situated Learning:
The idea that skills and knowledge are tied to the situation in which they were learned, and are difficult to apply in new settings.

Social Cognitive Theory:
Theory that adds concern with cognitive factors such as beliefs, self-perceptions, and expectations to social learning theory.

Social Development:
Changes over time in the ways we relate to others. Social Goals: A wide variety of needs and motives to be connected to others or part of a group.

Social Isolation:
Removal of a disruptive student for 5 to 10 minutes.

The ways in which members of a society encourage positive development for the immature individuals of the group.

Social Learning Theory:
Theory that emphasizes learning through observation of others.

Social Negotiation:
Aspect of learning process that relies on collaboration with others and respect for different perspectives.

Social Persuasion:
A "pep talk" or specific performance feedback-one source of self-efficacy.

Sociocultural Theory:
Emphasizes role in development of cooperative dialogues between children and more knowledgeable members of society. Children learn the culture of their community (ways of thinking and behaving) through these interactions.

Sociocultural Views of Motivation:
Perspectives that emphasize participation, identities, and interpersonal relations within communities of practice.

Socioeconomic Status (SES):
Relative standing in the society based on income, power, background, and prestige.

The study of formal and informal rules for how, when, about what, to whom, and how long to speak in conversations within cultural groups.

Overly tight or tense muscles, characteristic of some forms of cerebral palsy.

Speech Impairment:
Inability to produce sounds effectively for speaking.

Speech Reading:
Using visual cues to understand language.

Spiral Curriculum:
Bruner's structure for teaching that introduces the fundamental structure of all subjects early in the school years, then revisits the subjects in more and more complex forms over time.

Spread of Activation:
Retrieval of pieces of information based on their relatedness to one another. Remembering one bit of information activates (stimulates) recall of associated information.

Stand-Alone Thinking Skills Programs:
Programs that teach thinking skills directly without need for an extensive knowledge of subject matter.

Standard Deviation:
Measure of how widely scores vary from the mean.

Standard Error of Measurement:
A reflection of the degree of unreliability estimated by the standard deviation of an average student's scores around that average student's true score.

Standard Score:
Score based on the standard deviation.

Standardized Tests:
Tests given, usually to large numbers of students (district-wide, provincially, or nationwide) under uniform conditions and scored according to uniform procedures.

Stanine Scores:
Whole number scores from 1 to 9 where each stanine represents a range of raw scores that correspond to one-ninth of scale.

Statistically Significant:
Not likely to be a chance occurrence. Stem: The question part of a multiple-choice item.

Schema that organizes knowledge or perceptions about a category.

Stereotype Threat:
The extra emotional and cognitive burden that your performance in an academic situation might confirm a stereotype that others hold about you.

Event that activates behaviour.

Stimulus Control:
Capacity for the presence or absence of antecedents to regulate behaviour.

Stimulus Discrimination:
Responding differently to similar, but not identical, stimuli.

Story Grammar:
Typical structure or organization for a category of stories.

Repetitions, prolongations, and hesitations that block flow of speech.

People or animals studied.

Successive Approximations:
Small components that make up complex behaviour.

Summative Assessment:
Testing that follows instruction and assesses achievement.

Sustaining Expectation Effect:
Student performance maintained at a certain level because teachers don't recognize improvements.

The order of words in phrases or sentences.

T Score:
Standard score with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10.

Tacit Knowledge:
Knowing how rather than knowing that-knowledge that is more likely to be learned during everyday life than through formal schooling.

Task Analysis:
System for breaking down a task hierarchically into basic skills and sub-skills.

Task-Involved Learners:
Students who focus on mastering the task or solving the problem.

Classification system.

Teaching Efficacy:
A teacher's belief that he or she can reach even the most difficult students and help them learn.

Teaching Portfolio:
A depiction of you as a teacher, usually including a curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, examples of your teaching plans and activities, example assignments and tests, students' work, and even videos or CD excerpts of teaching.

Teams-Games-Tournaments (TGT):
Learning arrangement in which team members prepare cooperatively, then meet comparable individuals of competing teams in a tournament game to win points for their team.

Test Bias:
A potential problem with tests in which the content or procedures of administering the test discriminate against a group of students on the basis of gender, SES, race, ethnicity, etc.

Integrated statement of principles that attempts to explain a phenomenon and make predictions.

Time on Task:
Time spent actively engaged in the learning task at hand.

Time Out:
Technically, the removal of all reinforcement. In practice, isolation of a student from the rest of the class for a brief time.

Token Reinforcement System:
System in which tokens earned for academic work and positive classroom behaviour can be exchanged for some desired reward.

Top-Down Processing:
Perceiving based on the context and the patterns you expect to occur in that situation.

Assignment to different classes and academic experiences based on achievement.

Influence of previously learned material on new material.

Transition Programming:
Gradual preparation of exceptional students to move from high school into further education or training, employment, or community involvement.

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence:
A three-part description of the mental abilities (thinking processes, coping with new experiences, and adapting to context) that lead to more or less intelligent behaviour.

True Score:
Hypothetical average of all of an individual's scores if repeated testing under ideal conditions were possible.

Unconditioned Response (UR):
Naturally occurring emotional or physiological response.

Unconditioned Stimulus (US):
Stimulus that automatically produces an emotional or physiological response.

Exclusion of some true members from a category; limiting a concept.

Utility Value:
The contribution of a task to meeting one's goals.

Degree to which a test measures what it is intended to measure.

Degree of difference or deviation from mean.

Putting your problem-solving plan and its logic into words.

Vicarious Experiences:
Accomplishments that are modelled by someone else.

Vicarious Reinforcement:
Increasing the chances that we will repeat a behaviour by observing another person being reinforced for that behaviour.

Voicing Problems:
Inappropriate pitch, quality, loudness, or intonation.


Whole Language Perspective:
A philosophical approach to teaching and learning that stresses learning through authentic, real-life tasks. Emphasizes using language to learn, integrating learning across skills and subjects, and respecting the language abilities of student and teacher.

Within-Class Ability Grouping:
System of grouping in which students in a class are divided into two or three groups based on ability in an attempt to accommodate student differences.

According to Jacob Kounin, awareness of everything happening in a classroom.

Work-Avoidant Learners:
Students who don't want to learn or to look smart, but just want to avoid work.

Working-Backward Strategy:
Heuristic in which one starts with the goal and moves backward to solve the problem.

Working Memory:
The information that you are focusing on at a given moment.

z Score:
Standard score indicating the number of standard deviations a raw score is above or below the mean.

Zone of Proximal Development:
Phase at which a child can master a task if given appropriate help and support.

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