Ability grouping
The process of placing students of similar abilities into groups and attempting to match instruction to the needs of these groups
Accomodation
Responding to a new object or event by either modifying an existing scheme or forming a new one
Accountability
Mandated obligation of teachers and other school personnel to accept responsibility for students’ performance on high-stakes assessments
Achievement tests
standardized tests measuring how much students have learned in a given content area.

Action research
research conducted by teachers and other sschool personnel to address issues and problems in their own schools or classrooms.
Active listening
A technique in which the listener paraphrases the other person’s message and directly mentions the feelings that underlie the message.
Advance organizer
An introduction to a lesson that provides an overall organizational scheme for the lesson.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
Legilsation in the US that extends civil rights protetion of persons with disabilities to private-sector employment, all public services, public acommodations, transportation, and telecommunication including physical accessibility and the removal of barriers to hotels restaurants, grocery stores, and parks if that can be accomplished without great diffculty or expense
Analytic scoring
Scoring a student’s performance on an assessment by evaluating various aspects of it separately
Anecdotal records
Narrative accounts of observed student behavior or performance.
Antecedent stimulus
Stimulus that increases the likelihood that particular response will follow.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA)
Systematic application of stimulus-response principles to address a chronic behavior problem
Aptitude tests
Standardized tests designed to predict the potential for future learning and measure general abilities developed over long periods of time.
Assertive discipline
An approach to classroom managment that promotes a clear and firm response style with students
Assessment
Process of observing a sample of a student’s behavior and drawing inferences about the student’s knowledge and abilities.
Assimilation
Responding to and possibly interpreting a new event in a way that is consistent with an existing scheme.

Attributions
Personally constructed causal explanations for a success or failure.
Attribution Theory
Theoretical perspective focusing on people’s explanations concerning the causes of events that befall them, as well as on the behaviors that result from such explanations.
Authentic activity
An approach to instruction similar to one studenst might encounter in the outside world.

Autonomy
Basic need to control the course of one’s own life.
Backward design
An approach to instructional planning in which a teacher first determines the desired end result (i.e., what knowledge and skills students should acquire) and then identifies appropriate asessments and instructional strategies.

Behaviorism
Theoretical perspective in which learning and behavior are described and explained in terms of stimulus-response relationships, and motivation is often the result of deficit-based drives.
Belongingness
General sense that one is an important and valued member of the classroom.
Bloom’s taxonomy
A taxonomy of six cognitive processes, varying in complexity, that lessons might be designed to foster.
Central tendency
Typical score for a group of scores.
Classical conditioning
Form of learning in which a new, involuntary response is acquired as a result of two stimuli being presented at the same time.
Cognitive apprenticeship
Mentorship in which a teacher and a student work together on a challenging task and the teacher gives guidance about how to think about the task.
Cognitive dissonance
Feeling of mental discomfort caused by new information that conflicts with current knowledge or beliefs.

Cognitive modeling
Demonstrating how to think about as well as how to do a task.
Cognitive style
Characteristic way in which a learner tends to think about a task and process new information; typically comes into play automatically rather than bychoice.
Collective self-efficacy
Shared belief of members of a group that they can be successful when they work together on a task.

Competence
Basic need to be effective in dealing with the environment.
Concept map
Diagram of concepts and their interrelationships; used to enhance learning and memory of a topic.
Conceptual change
Revision of one’s understanding of a topic in response to new information
Concrete operations stage
Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development, in which adult-like logic appears but is limited to concrete reality.
Conditioned response (CR)
Response that begins to be elicited by a particular stimulus through classical conditioning.
Conditioned stimuli (CS)
Stimulus that begins to elicit a particular repsonse through classical conditioning.
Constructivism
Theoretical perspective proposing that learners construct (rather than absorb) a body of knowlege from their experiences–knowledge that may or may not be an accurate representation of external reality.
Content validity
Extent to which an assessment includes a representative sample of tasks within the domain being assessed.

Contingency
Situation in which one event (e.g. reinforcement) happens only after another event (e.g., a spcific response) has already occurred.
Contingency contract
Formal agreement between teacher and student that identifies behaviors the student will exhibit and the reinforcers that will follow.

Convergent questions
Questions that have a single correct answer.
Convergent thinking
The process of pulling several pieces of information together to draw a conclusion or solve a problem.
Cooperative learning
Approach to instruction in which students owrk with a small group of peers to achieve a common goal and help one another learn.
Creative thinking
New and original behavior that yeilds a produtive adn culturally appropriate result.
Criterion-referenced score
Assessment score that specifically indicates what a stduent knows or can do
Critical thinking
The process of evaluating the accuracy and worth of information and lines of reasoning.
Crystallized intelligence
Knowledge and skills accumulated from prior experience, schooling, and culture.
Cueing
Use of simple signals to indicate that certain behavior is desired or that certain behavior should stop.
Cultural bias
Extent to which assessment tasks either offend or unfairly penalize some students because of their ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status.

Cultural mismatch
Situation in which a child’s home culture and the school culture hold conflicting expectations for the child’s behavior.
Curricular web
Visual representation of organized content and useful for instructional planning as it identifies how concepts are connected.
Declarative knowledge
Knowledge related to “what is”–that is, to the nature of how things are, were, or will be.
Deductive reasoning
Process of drawing a logical inference about something that must be true, given other information that has already been presented as true.
Developmental milestone
Appearance ofa new, developmentally more advanced behavior.

Diagnostic assessment
Highly specialized, comprehensive and detailed procedures used to uncover persistent or recurring learning difficulties that require specially prepared diagnostic tests as well as various observational techniques.
Differentiated instruction
Practice of individualizing instructional methods, and possibly also individualizing specific content and instructional goals, to align with each student’s existing knowledge, skills, and needs.
Direct instruction
Approach to instruction that uses a variety of techniques in a fairly structured manner to promote learning of basic skills.
Discovery learning
Approach to instruction in which students develop an understanding of a topic through firsthand interaction with the environment.
Disequilibrium
Inability to explain new events with existing schemes; tends to be accompanied by a sense of discomfort.

Distributed intelligence
Idea that people act more “intelligently” when they have physical, symbolic, or social assistance.
Divergent questions
Questions that have no single correct answer.
Divergent thinking
The process of mentally moving in a variety of directions from a single idea.

Dynamic assessment
Systematic examination of how easily a student can acquire new knowledge or skills, perhaps with an adult’s assistance.
Elaboration
Cognitive process in which learners embellish on new information based on what they already know.
Encoding
Changing the format of information being stored in memory in order to remember it more easily.
Entity view of intelligence
Belief that intelligence is a “thing” that isrelatively permanent and unchangeable.
Equilibrium
State of being able to explain new events with existing schemes.

Expectancy-value theory
Theoretical perspective propsing that human motivation is a fucntion of two beliefs: that once can succeed in an activity and that there are direct or indirect benefits in performing the activity.
Expository instruction
Approach to instruction in which information is presented in more ore les the same form in which students are expected to learn it.
Fluid intelligence
Ability to acquire knowledge quickly and adapt effectively to new situations
Formal assessment
Preplanned, systematic attempt to ascertain what students have learned.

Formal operations stage
Piaget’s fourth and final stage of cognitive development, in which logical reasoning processes are applied to abstract ideas as well as to concrete objects, and more sophisticated scientific and mathematical reasoning processes emerge.
Formative evaluation
Evaluation conducted before or during instruction to facilitate instructional and planning and enhance students’ learning.
Functional analysis
Examination of inappropriate behavior and its antecedents and consequences to determine one or more purposes that the behavior might serve for the learner.
Goal theory
Theoretical perspective that portrays human motivation as being directed toward particular goals; the nature of these goals determines the specific ways in which people think and behave.
Guided participation
A child’s performance, with guidance and support, of an activity in the adult world.

High-stakes testing
Practice of using students’ performance on a single assessment instrument to make major decisions about students or school personnel.
Higher-level cognitive process
A cognitive process that involves going well beyond information specifically learned (e.g., by analyzing, applying, or evaluating it).
Higher-level question
Question that requires students to do something new with something they’ve learned
Holistic scoring
Summarizing a student’s performance on an assessment with a single score.

Humanism
Philosophical perspective in which people are seen as having tremendous potential for psychological growth and as continually striving to fulfill that potential.
I-messages
A form of communication in which a person directly states what another person is doing, its effect, and how he or she feels about it.
Incremental view of intelligence
Belief that intelligence can improve with effort and practice.
Individual constructivism
Theoretical perspective that focuses on how people, as individuals, construct meaning from the events around them.
Inductive reasoning
Collecting data to draw a conclusion that may or may not be true.

Information processing theory
Theoretical perspective that focuses on how learners mentally think about new information and evnts and how such processes change with development.
Learned helplessness
General, fairly pervasive belief that one is incapable of accomplishing tasks and has little or no control over the environment.
Locus of causality
The location–internal or external–of the cause of behavior.
Lower-level question
Question that requires students to express what they’ve learned in essentially the same form as they learned it.
Mastery orientation
General, fairly pervasive belief that one is capable of accomplishing challenging tasks.

Meaningful learning
Cognitive process in which learners relate new information to things they already know.
Theory of Multiple Intelligences
A theory that claims people are “intelligent” in many different areas, including cognitive, emotional, and social domains.
Need for autonomy
Basic need for independence
Need for arousal
Ongoing need for either physical or cognitive stimulation.
Need for competence
Basic need to believe that one can deal effectively with the overall envrionment.
Need for relatedness
Basic need to feel socially connected to others and to secure others’ love and respect.

Need for self-determination
Basic need to believe that one has some autonomy and control regarding the course of one’s life.
Negative reinforcement
Phenomenon in which a response increases as a result of the removal of a stimulus.
Norm-referenced score
Assessment score that indicates how a student’s performance on an assessment compares with the average performance of others.
Operant conditioning
Form of learning in which a response increases in frequency as a result of its being followed by reinforcement.
Pedagogical content knowledge
Knowledge about effective methods of teaching a specific content area.

Performance-approach goal
Desire to look good and receive favorable judgments from others.
Performance assessment
Assessment in which students demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a nonwritten fashion.
Performance-avoidance goal
Desire not to look bad or receive unfavorable judgments from others.
Positive behavioral support (PBS)
Systematic intervention thataddresses chronic misbehaviors by (a) identifying the purposes those behaviors might serve for a student and (b) providing more appropriate ways for a student to achieve the same ends.
Positive psychology
Theoretical perspective that portrays people as having many unique qualties that propel them to egnage in productive, worthwhile activities; it shares early humanists; belief that people strive to fulfill their portential but also shares contemporary psychologists; belief that theories of motivation must be research-based.
Positive reinforcement
Phenomenon in which a response increases as a result of the presentation of a stimulus.
Practicality
Extent to which an assessment instrument or procedure is inexpensive and easy to use and takes only a small amount of time to administer and score.

Preoperational stage
Piaget’s second stage of cognitive development, in which children can think about objects beyond their immediate view but do not yet reason in logical, adult-like ways.
Prior knowledge activation
Process of reminding learners of things they have already learned relative to a new topic.
Reciprocal teaching
Approach to teaching reading and listening comprehension in which students take turns asking teacher-like questions of classmates.

Reliability
Extent to which an assessment instrument yields consitent information about the knowledge, skills, or characteristics being assessed.
Rote learning
Learning information in a relatively uninterpreted form, without making sense of it or attaching much meaning to it.
Scaffolding
Support mechanism that helps a learner successfully perform a task within his or her zone of proximal development.
Self-determination theory
Theoretical perspective proposing that human beings have a basic need for autonomy about the courses that their lives take; it further proposes that humans also have basic needs to feel competent and to have close, affectionate relationships with others.
Self-efficacy
Belief that one is capable of executing certain behaviors or reaching certain goals.

Sensorimotor stage
Piaget’s first stage of cognitive development, in which schemes are based largely on behaviors and perceptions.
Sensory register
Component of memory that holds incoming information in an unanalyzed form for a ver brief time.
Social learning theory
Theoretical perspective in which learning by ovserving others is the focus of study. Initially, this perspective focused largely on stimulus-response relationships. More recently, it has come to incorporate cognitive processes as well, hence its alternative name social cognitive theory.
Social constructivism
Theoretical perspective that focuses on people’s collective efforts to impose meaning on the world.
Social negotiation
Aspect of learning process that relies on collaboration with others to co-construct meaning while respecting different perspectives.
Summative evaluation
Evaluation conducted after instruction to assess student’ final achievement.
Task analysis
The process of identifying specific knowledge, behaviors, or cognitive processes necessary to master a particular subject area or skill.
Triarchic theory of intelligence
View of intelligence; proponents argue that that intelligent behavior arises from a balance between analytical, creative, and practical abilities.
Unconditioned response (UCR)
Response that is elicited by a particular stimulus without prior learning.
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
Stimulus that elicits a particular response without prior learning.
Validity
Extent to which an assessment instrument actually measures what it is intended to measure and allows appropriate inferences about the characteristic or ability in question.
Zone of proximal development (ZPD)
Range of tasks that a child can perform with the help and guidance of others but cannot yet perform independently.