Glossary of Terms to Promote a Common Language


early childhood education:
In its broadest meaning early childhood education refers to the learning experiences, both formal and informal, that span the entire period from birth through about age 9.

early language impairment:
A failure to thrive in the development of one's native language; a significant and prolonged deviation from age related language

echo reading:
An activity where one person(or group) reads a select portion of text immediately followed by a second person (or group) reading the same select portion of text.

Edison Project:
The Edison Project is businessman Christopher Whittle's plan to create a network of hundreds of for-profit schools. The idea is for the schools to be oriented around high technology and operated in the manner of any efficient business.

Educational Resources Information Center, also see ERIC:
ERIC is a U.S. government information center that sponsors 16clearing-houses throughout the U.S. The clearing houses are variously responsible for the accumulation and dissemination of information and resources on specific ideas of education including adult, career, and vocational education; reading and communication skills; educational management; handicapped and gifted children; higher education;elementary and early childhood education; rural and small schools;social studies/social science education; teacher education; tests,measurement, and evaluation; and urban education. The clearing houses select and abstract documents included in Resources in Education (RIE), as well as develop their own materials summarizing the latest research and literature on popular topics.

EFL (English as a Foreign Language):
Refers to situations where English is taught to persons living in countries where English is not the medium of instruction in the schools,where English I is taught as a subject, and where exposure to English is typically limited to the classroom setting (e.g., English in Japan).

Elkonian Boxes (Sound Boxes):
An instructional technique used to help students hear sounds within words. Initial instruction is done in the absence of letters or printed words emphasizing careful articulation and sequential location of phonemes. As a student progresses, letter/sound relationships are incorporated.

Students whose first language is not English and who are in the process of learning English. Unlike other terminology, such as limited-English proficient, ELL highlights what these students are accomplishing rather than focusing on their temporary deficits.

embedded assessment:
Classroom assessments that occur simultaneously with instruction, in other words, the assessment occurs as part of the curriculum. Students extend their learning as they engage in the assessment task or project.The results of curriculum/instruction-embedded assessments are typically used as feedback to inform the teacher and the students about how they are doing and what adjustments are needed.

emergent literacy:
A range of activities and behaviors related to written language including those undertaken by very young children who depend on the cooperation of others and/or on creative play to deal with the material;reading and writing related activities and behaviors that change overtime culminating in conventional literacy during middle childhood.

emergent reading:
Reading related activities and behaviors, especially those prior to a child are achieving the capacity to read fluently and conventionally.This includes (a) the attentive presence of a child while another reads for the child's benefit, (b) the execution of acts with materials related to reading, e.g., page turning, letter naming, and 9c) the pretense of processing and/or comprehending written language.

emergent writing:
Writing related activities and behaviors, especially those prior to a child are achieving the capacity to write fluently and conventionally;includes (a) the attentive presence of a child while another writes for the child's benefit, (b) the execution of acts with materials related to writing, e.g., scribbling letter-like forms, inventive spelling, and(c) the pretense o producing text to be read.

emotionally disturbed:
A condition exhibiting an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships; inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; a general pervasive mood of unhappiness/depression; and/or a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems over along period of time and to a marked degree.

empirical research:
Empirical research is based on the philosophical view that knowledge is thought to be ascertained only through observation and experimentation. The term empiricism derives from a Greek term for "experience," and connotes a philosophy which states that all concepts are derived from the experience to which they are applied, and that all knowledge of matters of fact is based on, or derived from, experience.In empirical research, all proposed cause and effect relationships must be verified through experimental research. It is the basis for the scientific method used in the "hard sciences."This methodology has been adopted by social science (and, therefore,educational) researchers and requires postulating a hypothesis and testing the hypothesis through data collection and analysis. While other forms of research may suggest cause and effect, only controlled experimental studies are accepted as evidence of cause and effect. This type of research is sometimes called quantitative research because the data are generally reported in quantitative terms (test scores,frequency counts, etc.). Because carefully controlled experimental studies in education are extremely difficult to conduct, the empirical base for many innovations and new programs is very weak. In its absence, many educators resort to qualitative research methods or even anecdotal stories to show success.

Repeated and involuntary passage of feces into inappropriate places like clothing or floors.

The process of culture being taught from one generation to the next.

Enrichment is a procedure whereby learners are given additional, more demanding and challenging work to accomplish. To qualify as enrichment rather than simply more work, the assignments must be qualitatively different than that presented in the regular curriculum. Enrichment can be contrasted with acceleration, which means moving a learner ahead of his/her peers in order to provide greater learning challenges. Enrichment activities can be carried out without removing learners from their age or peer groups. Most typically, enrichment activities include projects, original work, or investigations designed to enhance the learner's knowledge and insights.

enrichment units:
Units developed to enrich, broaden, or deepen the required curriculum.

Repeated and involuntary voiding of urine during the day or at night into bed or clothes.

environmental education:
Environmental education is an area of the curriculum that does not have a precise definition, but refers generally to a field of study that encourages citizens to be knowledgeable about relationships between the biophysical and sociocultural environments in which they live, and to develop problem-solving skills and socially responsible attitudes and behaviors toward these environments. The antecedents to environmental education are sometimes traced to the outdoor education, ecology education, and conservation education movements of prior years. Environmental education is often presented as interdisciplinary in nature, however, with a heavy emphasis on the sciences and on social responsibility.

ERIC Clearinghouse, also see Educational Resources Information Center

ESL (English as a Second Language):
ESL is an educational approach in which limited-English proficient students are instructed in the use of the English language. Their instruction is based on a modified curriculum that typically involves little or no use of the native language and is usually taught during specific school periods. For the rest of the school day, students may be placed in mainstream classrooms,an immersion program, or a bilingual program.

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages):
See ESL.

ESP (English for Specific Purposes):
ESP refers to situations where technical English is taught for use in the professions, science, or for vocational needs.

essential questions:
The big questions about which learning is structured and directs the learner's attention to an important area of study. "How have organisms developed structures to accomplish the function of protection within their environment?" is an essential question within the content of biology. This question flows from the science theme of Form Follows Function.

Person being evaluated.

The process of interpretation and use of information to make decisions: judgment regarding the quality, value, or worth of a response, product, or performance based upon established criteria.Evaluations are usually based on multiple sources of information. Depending on the result, decisions are made regarding whether and how to improve student performance.

evaluation - analytical:
Using lists of specific criteria to interpret information gained from assessment instruments.

evaluation - fixed standards:
Using the same benchmarks of performance for all learners being evaluated.

evaluation - holistic standards:
Using rubrics to interpret information gained from assessment instruments.

evaluation - individualized standards:
Using different standards of performance to evaluate different students. Sometimes students are evaluated based on their own past performance rather than against fixed standards.

evaluation period:
The time from agreement upon objectives through final assessment. (This period will usually coincide with the school year.)

Teacher whose job description includes supervision and evaluation of other teachers.

examining student work:
The idea here is that teachers can learn much from careful,thoughtful, and collective examination of student work. There are different processes (protocols) that can be used to accomplish this.Some of these include tuning protocol, consultancy, descriptive review,collaborative assessment conference, and others.

Actual samples of student work illustrate the essential characteristics of work typical of exemplary student work at the top scoring level on a scoring rubric. Several exemplars are desirable to promote creativity so that students see multiple products/performances are possible.

A tangible product and/or presentation, which illustrates and displays in a public way a student's achievement. They are generally multifaceted, public, involve an audience and set high standards. More recently exhibitions are associated with authentic assessment.

exit-level performance:
A performance expected of a student at the end of a segment of schooling such as the end of a course or the end of the last grade level at the school.

An estimate of the percent of students in a school who will meet the defined standard for a learning outcome.

expressive-language capacity:
Accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in producing language.

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