5 E model

Model of lesson planning that integrates inquiry through five phases: engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate.

A Nation at Risk

71-page report released in 1983 that sensationalized a "crisis" in American schooling that led to standards-based reform.


A caregiver’s action, or failure to act, resulting in death, significant physical or emotional harm, or the exploitation of a child under the age of 18.

academic freedom

Idea that educators and scholars should be able to express academic ideas without interference or punishment, usually defended with the First Amendment.


In Piaget's theory of cognitive development, changing schema to accommodate new information or experiences. In special education, a change to learning materials, the environment, or an assessment that does not fundamentally change the curriculum expectation or lower the standard of performance for the student.


Holding teachers, schools, and districts responsible, or accountable, for increasing student learning and performance.


Process of formal review of an Educator Preparation Program by an outside agency, such as CAEP.


An individual, stand-alone law.

Act of 1642

First compulsory education law in the New World.

administrative progressives

Group in the early 1900s who wanted education to be as efficient as possible to meet the demands of industrialization and the economy.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

From the work of Anda & Felitti (1998), sets of childhood experiences that may include abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction that lead to increased social, emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges.


Characteristic of well-planned instruction in which multiple elements align with each other (i.e., standards, assessment, and instruction).

alternative preparation

Pathway toward earning teaching certification that does not involve undergraduate coursework and might involve residency programs or provisional certification.

American Federation of Teachers

Second largest labor union for teachers in the U.S., founded in Chicago in 1916.

Annual Yearly Progress (AYP)

Provision of No Child Left Behind that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how public schools and districts are performing academically, as measured by scores on standardized tests.


Political group in the American Revolutionary Era that opposed a strong central government, preferring instead state and local forms of government. Included Thomas Jefferson.


Component of a lesson in which the teacher measures a student's understanding using varying techniques.


In Piaget's theory of cognitive development, use of existing schema to interpret new situations.

backward design

Planning concept designed by Wiggins & McTighe (1998) that involves identifying desired results and then working backward to design assessment and instruction.

Beecher, Catherine (1800-1878)

First well-known teacher of the Common School Movement and one of the normal schools’ first teachers.

Bilingual Education Act of 1968

Modification to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 that provided funds for students who were speakers of languages other than English.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Framework designed by Benjamin Bloom and colleagues in 1956, and later revised in 2001. Divides educational goals/cognitive processes into six categories of increasing complexity: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory

A theory of child development which outlines five levels of influence from a student’s environment: individual, microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem.

Brown v. Board of Education

Landmark Supreme Court case in 1954 that declared separate educational facilities were not equal, ending segregation in schools.


Aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power and repetition of behavior. Can be verbal, social, or physical.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.


Characteristic of the preoperational stage of Piaget's cognitive developmental theory in which children focus on only one aspect of a situation.

charity schools

Model of schooling in Colonial America established when an affluent individual made provisions in his or her will, including land, to construct and manage a school for the poor. Also called endowed free schools.

charter schools

Publicly-funded schools that do not have the same requirements as a traditional public school because they follow their own mission or charter.

classroom environment

Elements of a classroom community that include physical set-up, overall atmosphere, behavior management, and other considerations.


Model of instruction in which teachers (usually two) are paired up in a classroom and share the responsibility of planning, teaching, and assessing students.

Code of Ethics

A widely accepted standard of practice that outlines the accountability of its members to those they serve as well as to the profession itself.

cognitive constructivism

Act of constructing understanding of the world through cognitive development. Piaget's concepts of schema, equilibrium, disequilibrium, assimilation, and accommodation are parts of cognitive constructivism.

common schools

Elementary schools where all students--not just wealthy boys--could attend for free. Developed in the 1800s by Horace Mann.

compulsory attendance statute

A law requiring children to attend school based on specific age ranges.

concrete operational stage

Third stage of Piaget's theory of cognitive development in which children between the ages of 6 or 7 through 11 or 12 begin to think more logically and abstractly as they work toward operational thought.


Understanding developed during the preoperational stage of Piaget's cognitive developmental theory that specific properties of objects remain the same even if other properties change.

criterion-referenced assessments

Formal assessments scored by comparing students’ performance to specific performance criteria.

critical theory

Approach of constructing meaning through recognizing issues of power, access, and equity; often involves questioning and challenging the status quo.

culturally relevant teaching (CRT)

Student-centered approach to teaching created by Ladson-Billings (1994/2009) with three key pillars: academic success, cultural competence, and sociopolitical consciousness.

curricular progressives

Group in the early 1900s focused on changes in how and what students were learning; saw schooling as a vehicle for social justice instead of assimilation. Also called pedagogical progressives.


Bullying that takes place using electronic technology.

dame schools

Model of schooling in Colonial America in which parents sent children to a local woman who would teach basic literacy skills for a small fee.

data-driven instruction

Looking at the results of various assessments when considering next instructional steps.

de facto segregation

Segregation resulting not from legal segregation, but from pre-existing segregation that continues (i.e., segregated neighborhoods leading to segregated school enrollment).

deductive model

Model of instruction in which the teacher provides the rule first, and then students follow it (such as during direct instruction).

Democratic-Republican Societies

Political group in the American Revoutionary Era that supported universal, government-funded schooling.
Members of these political clubs included artisans, teachers, ship builders, innkeepers, and working class individuals.

Department of Education

Established in 1979 by President Carter to provide federal oversight of education, though individual states still preserved primary control of educational decisions.

Dewey, John (1859-1952)

Significant 20th century educator also known as the father of progressivism. Advocate for student-centered, problem-based learning.  Published several books outlining the role of democracy in education to create thoughtful, productive citizens.


Type of assessment administered before instruction to learn what students know prior to instruction.


Portion of a lesson plan that considers any necessary adaptations to meet the needs of specific learners, such as English Language Learners.

direct instruction

Model of instruction in which the teacher directly gives information to students.


In Piaget's cognitive developmental theory, a new experience that forces children to accommodate or assimilate existing schema.


Interpersonal skills expected of teachers as professionals.

Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt [W. E. B.] (1868-1963)

First African American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard University. Helped establish the NAACP. Known for "The Souls of Black Folk," among other writings.

Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA)

1975 legislation that established a foundational set of protections for individuals with disabilities in U.S. public schools, including (a) a free education for all students between the ages of 3 and 18, (b) education in community schools when appropriate, (c) non-discriminatory evaluation to identify educational needs, (d) parent involvement in decision making, and (3) an individualized learning plan.

Educator Preparation Program (EPP)

Programs offered through colleges or universities to earn teaching credentials.


Worldview developed during the preoperational stage of Piaget's cognitive developmental theory that means children see the world from their own perspective and not other points of view.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

1965 legislation from President Johnson designed to provide federal funding to primary and secondary education and provide equal access to education as part of the "War on Poverty." Subsequently reissued as No Child Left Behind (2002) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015).

emotional neglect

The failure to meet or recognize a child’s emotional needs.


The ability to recognize and feel the emotions of others.

English Language Learners (ELLs)

Students whose primary or home language is a language other than English. May also be called English Learners (ELs).

English Learners (ELs)

Students whose primary or home language is a language other than English. May also be called English Language Learners (ELLs).

Equal Access Act

1984 legislation requiring federally-funded secondary schools to uphold students’ First Amendment rights to conduct meetings and hold an open forum with equal access to extracurricular student groups or clubs.


In Piaget's theory of cognitive development, the balance achieved when schema align with experiences.

ESL programs

Abbreviation for English as a Second Language programs.

ESOL programs

Abbreviation for English for Speakers of Other Languages programs.


Educational philosophy that suggests that there are skills and knowledge that all people should possess.


Judging or evaluating another culture based on your own culture.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) and No Child Left Behind Act (2002). Shifted accountability provisions to individual states.

explicit curriculum

The state, district, and schools’ formal accounting of what they teach. Also called formal curriculum.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

An amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 that protects the privacy of student educational records.

family engagement

Family-oriented approach toward building home-school partnerships that share responsibility for and work together to support children’s learning.

family involvement

School-oriented approach toward involving families in schools, with the school holding the expectations for family participation and telling families what they need to do.


American Revolutionary Era group supporting mass schooling for nationalistic purposes, such as preserving order, morality, and a nationalistic character, but opposing tax-supported schooling. Included Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams, and Noah Webster.

field schools

Model of schooling in Colonial America involving schools being built in abandoned fields in rural areas to offer affordable education to students. Teachers received payment from families and boarded with families. Also called rate schools, subscription schools, fee schools, and eventually district schools.

First Amendment

Prevents the government from making laws that infringe upon the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, or right to petition the government. Adopted in 1791.

formal assessments

Measure systematically what students have learned, often at the end of a course or school year, such as with a standardized test.

formal curriculum

The state, district, and schools’ formal accounting of what they teach. Also called explicit curriculum.

formal operational stage

Fourth stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development in which children aged 11 or 12 through adulthood develop better reasoning and abstract thinking skills.


Type of assessment given during instruction that gives teachers insight into students' understanding as it is forming.

Fourteenth Amendment

Addresses citizenship rights, equal protection, and due process, especially for freed enslaved people. Adopted in 1868.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Stipulation of IDEiA that students with special needs must receive specially designed instruction, including special education and accommodations, that allows them to make meaningful progress toward the curriculum and their individual learning goals. All of these services must be provided at public expense.

Freedmen’s Bureau

Distributed food, clothing, and medical aid to formerly enslaved people and poor Whites and created over 1,000 schools throughout the southern states after the Civil War.

Freire, Paulo (1921-1997)

Brazilian philosopher and educator who was one of the most influential thinkers in the ideas behind social reconstructionism. Believed that education should be student-centered and avoid the "banking model" of teachers depositing information into students. Wrote several books, including "Pedagogy of the Oppressed."


Instructional approach that involves pre-teaching background knowledge or vocabulary necessary for upcoming instruction. Particularly helpful for ELs.

gradual release of responsibility

Model of lesson planning using direct instruction in which the teacher gradually releases responsibility for learning and demonstrating understanding to the students. Also called "I do, We do, You do."

Herbartian five-step lesson plan

Approach to lesson planning that includes five distinct steps: anticipatory set; introduction of new material; guided practice; independent practice; and closure. Aligns with the gradual release of responsibility and tends to rely on direct instruction.


Type of schooling in which a child receives an education at home.

hybrid funding formula

Model of school funding that uses various formulas, such as student-based or resource-based formulas, to determine funding.

implicit curriculum

Hidden messages that students learn from schooling that aren’t specifically in the standards and possibly aren’t even explicitly taught. Also called informal curriculum.

in loco parentis

Meaning "in place of parents."
Responsibility of educators to make similar judgements as it relates to the safety of children that a parent might make.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Unique learning plan for students with disabilities developed annually by a team that includes general and special education teachers, administrators, the student’s parents, and the student (when age-appropriate).

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA)

Pronounced "idea"; 2004 reauthorization of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) that defines 14 specific disability categories. Also called IDEA.

inductive model

Model of instruction in which students figure out the rules from a completed example (such as in inquiry-based instruction).

industrial schools

Post-Civil War schools built for Black Americans in the South; focused on vocational or trade skills.

informal assessments

Assessments that are local, non-standardized, and contextualized in daily classroom learning activities; often performance-based.

informal curriculum

Hidden messages that students learn from schooling that aren’t specifically in the standards and possibly aren’t even explicitly taught. Also called implicit curriculum.

information processing theory

Identifies thinking and problem solving through three basic mental processes: (1) attending to sensory input in the sensory register; (2) encoding the attended information into short-term or working memory; and (3) retrieving information from long-term memory.

inquiry-based model

Model of instruction in which students are encouraged to question and explore instead of receiving information directly from the teacher.

InTASC standards

10 standards from the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium that cover model core teaching practices for K-12 educators.


Full-time practicum experience, usually situated at the end of an educator preparation program. May also be called student teaching.


Term coined by Crenshaw (1989) meaning many different aspects of identity--including race, economic class, gender, and more--overlap and intersect with one another.

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826)

Anti-Federalist and third U.S. president who proposed a tiered schooling model in Virginia.


Abbreviation for kindergarten through 12th grade, the traditional span of public schools in the United States.

Latin grammar schools

Model of schooling in Colonial America to teach boys subjects like classical literature, reading, writing, and math in preparation to attend Harvard University. First established in Boston in 1635.

learning styles

Often associated with visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic (VARK) input of information. In actuality, learning styles have no research-based support and are a myth.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Expectation that students with disabilities must be educated in the same setting as their peers who do not have disabilities, unless it is not possible for the student to make progress in that setting even when additional supports are added.

Limited English Proficient (LEP)

Early terminology to refer to English Learners (ELs). Problematic in its deficit framing.


Unequal treatment of languages based upon power structures that privilege certain languages as having legitimacy.

Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

Public authorities that exercise local control of education in cities, counties, districts, or other local subdivisions.


Instructional practice in which a classroom teacher moves with a group of students from grade to grade.

Mann, Horace (1796-1859)

Massachusetts’s first Secretary of Education and leader of the common school movement.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Succession of 8 hierarchical needs, divided into deficiency needs (physiological, safety, belongingness & love, and esteem needs) and growth needs (need for knowledge & understanding, aesthetic needs, self actualization, and transcendence).

mastery grading

Model of grading in which courses are structured to allow students the time and flexibility to focus on mastering a standard rather than achieving a certain number or letter grade (i.e., often with repeated opportunities to demonstrate mastery).


Portion of a lesson plan in which all materials, such as books, resources, tools, websites, and other items that will be used for the lesson, are listed.

Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act

2009 legislation that expanded the federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

mentor teacher

Teacher of record in a practicum placement. Mentors preservice teachers by modeling effective instruction and sharing classroom responsibilities.


Ability to monitor and think about your own thinking.


How to teach the structures of different disciplines like literacy, math, science, or social studies.


In special education, a substantial alteration to a learning standard that reduces the complexity for a student.

Morrill Act of 1862

Gave states 30,000 acres of land for each senator and representative it had in Congress in 1860. The income generated from the sale or lease of this land would provide financial support for at least one agricultural and mechanical (A&M) college, known as a land-grant institution.

Morrill Act of 1890

Required land-grant institutions seeking increased federal support to either provide equal access to the existing A&M colleges or establish separate institutions for the People of Color in their state.

multi-age classrooms

Classroom model allowing students of different grades to be in one class (i.e., a combination 2nd/3rd grade class).

multiple intelligences

Theory created by Howard Gardner in 2004. The eight multiple intelligences include musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic, intrapersonal, and visual-spatial.


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; founded in 1905 to seek legal and political equality for African Americans.

National Education Association

Largest labor union in the U.S., established in 1857 to represent educators.

No Child Left Behind Act

Standards-based reform passed in 2001 as a reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Increased educational accountability through standardized testing.

norm-referenced assessments

Formal assessment scored by comparing students’ performance to other students.

normal schools

Teacher training institutions championed by Horace Mann that arose during the Common School Movement.

null curriculum

Topics that are not taught in schools at all for a variety of reasons.

object permanence

Realization that things continue to exist even if they are not in view. Developed during the sensorimotor stage of cognitive development, according to Piaget.


Statement of what students will know, understand, and do by the end of the lesson.

Old Deluder Satan Act

Required towns of fifty or more families to hire a schoolmaster to teach children basic literacy. Also known as the Law of 1647.

Open Educational Resource (OER)

Teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to retain, revise, remix, reuse, or redistribute those resources.

open enrollment

School enrollment policy in which the school will allow students from other geographic areas within the district to enroll if space permits.

parson schools

Model of schooling in Colonial America in which a highly educated minister opened his home to young scholars and often taught secular subjects.

pedagogical progressives

Group in the early 1900s focused on changes in how and what students were learning; saw schooling as a vehicle for social justice instead of assimilation. Also called curricular progressives.


The art and science of teaching.


Educational philosophy suggesting that human nature is constant, and that the focus of education should be on teaching concepts that remain true over time.


The fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence; in the case of a philosophy of education, what one believes to be true about the essentials of education.

physical neglect

Failure to consistently meet basic needs such as food and shelter, as well as providing a safe, clean environment.

Piaget, Jean (1896-1980)

Cognitive developmental theorist who identified four stages of cognitive development in children: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational.


Part-time field placements that are often tied to specific courses to give preservice teachers experience in classrooms.


Series of teacher certification tests offered by ETS.

preoperational stage

Second stage in Piaget's cognitive developmental theory in which children between the ages of 2 and 6 or 7 develop language, imagination, and memory, working toward symbolic thought.

private school

A school that is privately funded and maintained by a private group or organization, not the government, usually by charging tuition.


Portion of a lesson plan that breaks down the lesson into specific steps the teacher will follow.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Local model of professional development in which teachers, often in the same grade level or content area, come together to plan, analyze assessment data, read a book/article, or engage in other professional development activities.


Educational philosophy emphasizing real-world problem solving and individual development, with the teacher serving as a "guide on the side."

provisional teaching license

Teaching license that is temporary, usually with certain stipulations or provisions attached. Sometimes called an emergency teaching license.

psychological crises

According to Erikson's psychosocial theory, people go through eight developmental crises: trust vs. mistrust; autonomy vs. shame and doubt; initiative vs. guilt; industry vs. inferiority; identity vs. role confusion; intimacy vs. isolation; generativity vs. stagnation; and ego integrity vs. despair.

public school

Any school that is maintained through public funds to educate children that are part of a community or district for free.


Agreements among different states to honor teaching licenses earned in other states, sometimes with additional requirements added (like testing).


Practice (currently illegal) in which housing was allowed or denied in certain areas based on people’s race or socioeconomic status.

Rehabilitation Act

Passed in 1973 to prohibit discrimination based on disability. Includes Section 504.

related arts

Term referring to teachers in areas like music, visual arts, drama, etc.


Expectation that an assessment produce consistent (reliable) results.

residency programs

Alternative pathway toward teacher certification in which future teachers work simultaneously on a master’s degree in education while being placed in a school full-time.


The ability to bounce back from adverse experiences.

resource-based formula

Model of school funding computed from the cost of resources or programs to fund specific programs.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

Research-based interventions to meet student needs and to collect progress monitoring data to support educational decision making.


Understanding developed during the concrete operational stage of Piaget's cognitive developmental theory that allows children to change direction in linear thinking to return to a starting point.


Ways in which we organize information as we confront new ideas.

school choice

Program allowing public education funds to follow students to the schools that best fit their needs, even if those schools are not public schools.

school social workers

Trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents, and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.

school vouchers

A government-supplied coupon that is used to offset tuition at an eligible private school.

Section 504

Specific section of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act that forbids organizations (including schools) from excluding or denying services to individuals with disabilities. Individual student accommodations are documented in personalized 504 plans.

sensorimotor stage

First stage in Piaget's cognitive development from ages birth to two in which young children learn about their world through their senses.

social constructivism

Approach toward learning that centers social interactions as opportunities for constructing new knowledge. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and zone of proximal development are examples of social constructivism.

social emotional learning (SEL)

Process through which students learn to recognize and manage emotions, care about others, make good decisions, behave ethically and responsibly, develop positive relationships, and avoid negative behaviors.

social reconstructionism

Educational philosophy asserting that schools, teachers, and students should take the lead in addressing social problems and improving society.

social reconstructionists

Group of progressive educators, like John Dewey, who ascribed to the educational philosophy of social reconstructionism, meaning they believed education could improve society.

standard of reasonableness

Benchmark used in legal proceedings to determine if decisions were reasonable within the circumstances in which they were made or enacted.


Formal documents telling teachers the key information that students should understand in specific content areas at varying grade levels.

standards-based grading

Approach to grading that breaks down the subject matter into smaller “learning targets” that are scored on a continuum of 1-4 instead of being assigned letter grades or percentages.

State Education Agencies (SEAs)

State-level government organization in each U.S. state or territory that holds responsibility for education.


Sweeping, oversimplified generalizations about a group.

student teaching

Full-time practicum experience, usually situated at the end of an educator preparation program. May also be called internship.

student-based formula

Model of school funding computed from a set amount that estimates how much it costs to educate one student and multiplied by the number of students at a school.


Type of graded assessment given after instruction to show what students have learned.

teaching contract

A written agreement between the school system and the teacher and serves as a legal document identifying the roles and responsibilities for the teaching position.

teaching license

Earned after meeting state-established requirements (such as courses and testing) in order to become a teacher. Requires periodic renewal.

teaching strategies

A series of steps that a teacher might have the students follow to encourage interaction or deeper thinking during instruction; usually take 5-15 minutes to enact during a lesson.


Protects teachers from arbitrary dismissal by school officials. Derived from the Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883.

The Law of 1647

Required towns of fifty or more families to hire a schoolmaster to teach children basic literacy. Also known as the Old Deluder Satan Act.

Title I

Part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that provides financial assistance to educational agencies and schools with high proportions of students from low-income backgrounds.

Title III

Component of No Child Left Behind that created English Language Proficiency Standards and introduced requirements for states to test English learners annually for oral, written, and reading proficiency in English.

Title IX

Part of Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bans bans discrimination based on sex in places such as schools.

Title VII

Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.


Practice of channeling, or tracking, certain individuals into certain educational “tracks” based on their perceived capabilities for future success.

traditional preparation

One way to earn a teaching license through completing coursework at an Educator Preparation Program (EPP).


Understanding developed during the concrete operational stage of Piaget's cognitive developmental theory that allows children to infer relationships between two objects based on objects' relation to a third object in serial order.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Framework for instructional design to meet the needs of all learners in which teachers develop lessons around three core concepts that support accessibility: engagement, representation, and expression.


Expectation that an assessment should measure what it is designed to measure.

Vygotsky, Lev (1896-1934)

Russian psychologist and sociocultural theorist who created the zone of proximal development.

Washington, Booker T. (1856-1915)

Born an enslaved person in Virginia. Attended the Hampton Institute and later led the Tuskegee Institute. Famous for his 1895 "Atlanta Compromise" speech.

Webster, Noah (1758-1843)

Federalist who supported mass schooling and wrote his "American Spelling Book" in 1783.

WIDA (World Class Instructional Design and Assessment)

Consortium that designed standards for and assessments of assess English language skills for ELs.

zone of proximal development (ZPD)

According to Vygotsky, the difference between what a learner can do without help and what they can do with help.


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