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.)

Reflective teaching

A teacher-training program aimed at making public school teachers more insightful in their approaches to teaching and to problem solving.

Attention span

The length of time an individual can concentrate on an activity.

Art Institute of Chicago

One of the great American MUSEUMS founded during the era of burgeoning cultural philanthropy in the last quarter of the 19th century.

National Education Association (NEA)

The largest organization for education professionals in the United States, and, indeed, the largest single union, with more than 3.2 million members, including teachers, school administrators, support personnel and other school employees in 12,500 locals.

Maria Montessori (1870–1952)

Italian physician who pioneered a new, controversial but enormously successful educational method for teaching young children.

Man: A Course of Study (MACOS)


A controversial middle-school course developed by the Educational Development Center of Newton, Massachusetts, with a grant of nearly $5 million from the NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION.

Joseph Emerson (1777–1833)

American clergyman and first educator to expand women’s academic education beyond the traditional “ornamental” and “domestic” arts.

School voucher

A certificate valid for a fixedsum of tuition funds that parents may withdrawfrom the funds set aside for educatingtheir children in public school and use towardpayment of education in any other public orprivate school in the state or district.

Censorship

The alteration, suppression or eradication by governmental or other authorities of materials and ideas they deem inappropriate.

Secondary School Science Project (SSSP)

An earth-science course developed by a group of geologists in the 1960s for high school students.

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