A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Bottom-up model of reading

A system of reading instruction based on the theory that the learning of reading takes place by piecing together small parts, or phonic sounds, to form, first, a letter sound, and, eventually, a word sound. Learning takes place, in other words, from the bottom up, from sound to symbol to meaning. The model is in contrast to the TOP-DOWN MODEL, in which children learn entire words by sight, by the distinctive shape of the word, rather than individual letters. Such children must then gradually take the word apart to learn each letter and its sound. Experienced teachers recognize, however, that all children use both methods to some degree. Some children learn sight words more easily than others and instinctively distinguish words by the total shape of the word—pizza, for example, as opposed to cat. Other children, however, seem unable to distinguish entire words when first learning to read and are almost totally dependent on “sounding out” the word, letter by letter. (See also PHONICS; WHOLE LANGUAGE.)

Reading readiness

That level of physical, intellectual, emotional and sociocultural development at which a child is most susceptible to successful acquisition of reading skills.

Epilepsy

A neurological disorder involving electrical discharges in the brain that provoke a variety of involuntary activities, such as seizures.

Noah Webster (1758–1843)

American patriot, educator, author, lexicographer, lawyer and journalist who, more than any other single American, forever shaped the course of American education after the founding of the Republic.

Degree

A title usually awarded by colleges and universities to signify successful completion of extended studies in a particular subject or combination of subjects.

Power test

An examination made up of questions of increasing difficulty and designed so that none of the test-takers can answer the most difficult questions and therefore cannot achieve a perfect score.

Projects

In education, tasks involving independent research, self-directed learning and independent problem solving and designed to supplement classroom and textbook instruction.

Area studies

A college-level interdepartmental study of a specific geographical area of the world or specific nation.

Josiah Holbrook (1788–1854)

American educator and founder of the AMERICAN LYCEUM, the first organization ever to provide adult education in the United States.

Barenblatt v. United States

A 1959 United States Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutional right of congressional committees to conduct investigations in the field of education.

Radio

The wireless transmission of sound, or “wireless telephone,” as it was first called, following its invention in Europe in the late 19th century.

Feedback