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

Child benefit theory

A legal doctrine that emerged from a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions in church-state conflicts. The cases all involved the spending of public funds to provide services to children enrolled in parochial schools. Although the Court has consistently ruled that government may not use public funds to support a religion or a religious school, under the child benefit principle, government may provide aid to children in religious schools if the aid only benefits the children and not the school or its religion.
As early as 1930, the Court ruled in Cochrane v. Louisiana Board of Education that a Louisiana school district had not violated the Constitution by purchasing textbooks for the teaching of secular subjects and lending them to students in parochial schools. The unanimous decision stated that the books were of benefit only to the students and not the parochial schools or the religions that they espoused. In 1947, the Court issues a similar ruling in Everson v. Board of Education, upholding a New Jersey law that reimbursed parents with state funds for expenses of busing their children to private and religious schools, because the funds were spent directly on students and not on schools. Twenty years later, in Board of Education of Central School District v. Allen, the Court upheld a New York State law requiring local school boards to purchase textbooks and lend them free of charge to students in private and parochial schools. Citing Everson as precedent, the Court ruled that lending textbooks to students was a secular act that “neither advances nor inhibits religion,” because no funds were actually granted to the schools themselves.

Augmented alphabet

An alphabet of 45 characters and combinations of characters to teach young children the sounds of the English language as well as the names of letters in the alphabet.

Set theory

The core of so-called new math, which bases mathematics instruction on recapitulation of its evolution, rather than rote memorization of empirical formulae. 

Graduation

The formal completion of a prescribed course of study at an educational institution, as attested by the award of a certificate, diploma and/or degree.

Ancient languages

In American education, a term referring only to Hebrew, Greek and Latin, which together with the study of classical and biblical literature were required elements of the curriculum for Christian gentlemen in colonial grammar schools, academies and colleges.

Economics of education

An area of study dealing with the financing of education, the national and community resources invested in education...

Ball-stick-bird

A system of teaching the alphabet by using three basic forms—an oval (ball), a line (stick) and an angled V (bird)—from which all the letters of the alphabet can then be formed by adding one or more balls, sticks or birds.

Edward A. Sheldon (1823–1897)

American educator who founded the so-called Oswego Movement, which introduced the teaching methods of Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi to American education.

Education reform

Any change or proposed change in the existing methods or content of instruction in schools and colleges.

Handicaps

For educational purposes, any physical, emotional or intellectual disability that so interferes with classroom achievement as to require special education or equipment.

Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993)

American jurist and attorney responsible for winning the landmark BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION OF TOPEKA case that ended racial segregation in the United States.

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