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.

Rewriting the History of Adult Education: The Search for Narrative Structures

In collections of university libraries worldwide, one can locate relatively small sections of volumes pertinent to the history of adult education.

Moral philosophy

One of the three Aristotelian divisions of philosophy, which 18th-century educators in England and the American colonies used as a convenient approach to teaching philosophy.

Heuristic learning

The solution of problems and discovery of knowledge through experimentation.

Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma

A 1948 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the state must provide opportunities for legal education for blacks and must do so for one race as soon as for the other.

William J. Bennett (1943– )

Controversial secretary of education from 1985 to 1988, who constantly criticized the American education establishment for its mediocrity and failure to educate properly the children from middle and lower economic groups.


A perceptual disorder whereby the individual is unable to distinguish between various letters and symbols, seeing b, for example, as d, p or g.

College of the City of New York

The four-year college of liberal arts and sciences at the CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK.

Flow chart

A graphic representation of a set of operations, as in the classic “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” used by social studies teachers.

Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service

A U.S. Department of Agriculture educative division established in 1914 to provide instruction in HOME ECONOMICS, family management, child care, consumer affairs and human relations.

Learning packet

A portfolio containing a complete, self-directed learning activity or lesson plan for use by students.