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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.)

Individual test

Any examination administered on a one-to-one basis.

Minority education

Historically in the United States the formal instruction of members of racial, ethnic and national groups other than the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants who, for the first four centuries of European life in North America, constituted a majority of the population.

General College of the University of Minnesota

An experimental two-year program started in 1932 that proved to be the precursor of the modern community college.

Methodism

A worldwide Protestant movement and the second largest Protestant religion in the United States, after Baptists.

George Foster Peabody (1795–1869)

Massachusetts-born railroad magnate, financier and philanthropist whose financial gifts were largely directed toward education.

National School Lunch Program

A federal program that makes free or inexpensive lunches available to needy schoolchildren.

John Brinsley (d. 1633)

English preacherschoolmaster and author of A Consolation for Our Grammar Schooles (1622), which became a standard pedagogical guide for Puritan schoolmasters in the colonies.

Dysgraphia

A learning disability of otherwise normal children characterized by an inability to write conventionally at the appropriate level for the child’s age.

Flexible schedule

An organization of the school day that allows each class to adjust to the curriculum by meeting for varying amounts of time and varying frequencies.

First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The first of 10 Amendments added to the CONSTITUTION in 1791 and collectively known as the Bill of Rights.

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