Educational Vocabulary Glossary

Assessment is the collection of data. It is the measurement activities educators use to attempt to make valid inferences about students' knowledge, skills, and dispositions; as well as using those measurements and inferences to decide curricular aims, instructional strategies that are developmentally and academically appropriate, and if an instructional sequence was successful.

Authentic assessment where students perform tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. The closer the task is to what people face in the world as mechanics, construction workers, designers, business people, politicians, parents, citizens, ? the more authentic the assessment.

Performance assessment is a task where students' actions while completing or attempting to complete the tasks can be observed and compared against a scale or range of performances to determine a level of comprehension, skill, and/ or disposition on a continuum of performance possibilities.

Artifacts Anything that a student or teacher makes or does that can be used as evidence to support a claim. Oral statements, written, recorded video and audio, drawings, models, grades, portfolio, student groupings, nonverbal behaviors...
Benchmarks are generalizations or groups of generalizations that are usually written as outcomes or objectives and used to assess students' learning at very broad intervals of time (years).
Big Idea is a statement that connects information in informative ways that have powerful explanatory value. We are all made of star stuff. Addition and subraction are an operations for joining, separating, comparing, and equalizing. Observation as the basis of scientific explanation. Transfer of energy from sources to receivers... Relative position and motion as ... Water cycle as ... Ecosystem as ...
Concept An idea about a particular phenomenon people abstract from specific experiences. The idea includes all the properties that distinguish examples of the concept from all the non examples of the concept. Examples: plants, animal, rock, soil, dog, cat… Concepts can be concrete or abstract. Concrete concepts such as temperature as degrees on a thermometer, mammal as a dog, cat etc. Abstract concepts such as temperature as molecular energy, mammals as warm-blooded vertebrate with a four chambered heart, that bears live young, nurses them etc.Examples
Critical thinking is the process, or art, of reflecting and evaluating our conscious understanding and ways of deciding what to believe or do with the hope of improving our decisions and thinking.
Curriculum is our educational aims: the knowledge, skills, and dispositions we hope our educational efforts will produce in students. Curricular aims include: goals, objectives, outcomes, and standards. These aims are represented in a variety of documents, but more importantly are the mental representations and emotional feelings different people consciously or unconsciously use to influence their decisions.
Evaluation is the ranking or rating of a particular artifact or collections of artifacts. It is the process of putting a value on the artifact(s).
Fact is something that actually existed, object or event, and can be verified by observation. Facts are single occurrences. Examples
Gateway is a predetermined place in an educational sequence where students must demonstrate certain competencies.
Generalizations are statements of a relationship between two or more concepts. Examples: All matter has volume and mass. There is a relationship between an object's volume and surface area. Notice each requires understanding of each concept to have meaning. Generalizations can also be a generalized condition of fact, all dogs have canines. Examples
Goal is a broad or general statement reflecting the ultimate ends toward which the total educational program is directed. (Some texts sometimes refer to these as aims.)
Goal an immediate objective or outcome that a person desires and executes a behavior or sequence of behaviors to attain. Motivation - hunger; Goal - food; Strategy - raid the refrigerator
Hands on - further explanation
Imagination is what makes our sensory experience meaningful, enabling us to interpret and make sense of it, whether from a conventional perspective or from a fresh, original, individual one. It is what makes perception more than the mere physical stimulation of sense organs. It also produces mental imagery, visual and otherwise, which is what makes it possible for us to think outside the confines of our present perceptual reality, to consider memories of the past and possibilities for the future, and to weigh alternatives against one another. Thus, imagination makes possible all our thinking about what is, what has been, and, perhaps most important, what might be.
Instruction is the means people use to attempt to achieve heir curricular aims. Specifically what teachers do to help students learn what they believe students are supposed to learn as well as any consequential learning from those actions that were not anticipate by the teacher (hidden curriculum ).
Learning communityphilosophically is a group empowered to set its own achievement or learning goals, select strategies to achieve them, implement a change process, and evaluate the progress through reflection and critical thinking.
Mathematizing - the human activity of organizing and interpreting reality mathematically.
Motivation is a hypothetical or theoretical force that drives a person to do something. It includes varying emotions such as: initiative, drive, intensity, persistence, that inhibit, neutralize, or promote goal-directed behaviors. Motivation - hunger; Goal - food; Strategy - raid the refrigerator
Objective - see link Objectives
Outcome is a description of what learners do to demonstrate understanding, skill, or competence. Outcome levels describe different levels of what students may do to demonstrate a level of skill, competency, or conceptualization of a concept they have achieved from beginning to advanced.
Pedagogy - the art or profession of teaching which includes information on learning and human development
Performance Outcome - see outcome.
Dimensions of a Subject or Discipline include:

Subject Content Knowledge - the ideas (facts, concepts, generalizations, principles, theories, and or laws) that are created by doing the subject.

Practices of subjects or disciplines - includes the processes and procedures used to create knowledge in the subject or discipline.

Subject or Discipline Perspective - the relationship of the different dimensions of a subject or discipline to its other dimensions and to its whole as well as the subject's or discipline's relative significance for explaining and understanding the world.

Subject Attitudes, dispostions, values, or habits of mind that people have when practicing a subject or discipline that increase their likelihood of success in discovering or using the content for the subject or discipline.



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes