Education Speak

Teachers incorporate all sorts of "theories" and "educational ideas" into their lesson plans and dealings with students. Parents should know about these - because they influence their children. 

Educational lingo? Teacher speak? Don't be overwhelmed--here is a rundown of terms, theories, and ideas I frequently use on the blog. If you don't see the term here, please ask and I will add to this page. After all, parents should know the language teachers use concerning students, right?

Reflection A common theory in education is that for teachers to improve their skills, they should reflect on what they do, how they accomplished it, and how to improve.

For instance, if a teacher teaches vocabulary with a short story, she should look at how students performed, if students retained the vocabulary after the unit was over, if they understood the vocabulary in and out of the context of the short story, etc. The teacher would improve future lessons and teaching methods through reflection. Parents reflect upon their parenting very similarly. 

Eight Intelligences Howard Gardner believed that students learn in different ways. In theory, if teachers/parents make lessons to address a variety of learners, they will reach more students.

Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Logical-Mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart")
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart")

Bloom's Taxonomy The bottom of the chart (knowledge) is the base of what people know and continues with more difficult steps. In theory, a student must possess and have a grasp on the previous levels before moving to the upper levels.

Brain Based Learning This is a relatively new theory in education as scientists learn more about the brain. Based on neuroscience, this theory asserts that learning is individual and involves prior emotional experiences as well as the entire learning environment. There are twelve core principles concerning brain based education
  • The brain is a parallel processor. It can perform several activities at once.
  • The brain perceives wholes and parts simultaneously.
  • Information is stored in multiple areas of the brain, and can be retrieved through multiple memory and neural pathways. 
  • Learning engages the whole body. All learning is mind-body: movement, foods, attention cycles, and chemicals modulate learning. 
  • Humans search for meaning is innate.
  • The search for meaning comes through patterning.
  • Emotions are critical to patterning, and drive our attention, meaning and memory.
  • Meaning is more important than just information.
  • Learning involves focused attention and peripheral perception.
  • We have two types of memory: spatial and rote.
  • We understand best when facts are embedded in natural spatial memory.
  • The brain is social.  It develops better in concert with other brains.
  • Complex learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by stress.
  • Every brain in uniquely organized.
  • Learning is developmental.