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601Foundations

Early Childhood

QuestionAnswer
Accommodation The process involved in changing old methods and adjusting to new situations.
Active listening Involves interactions with a child to provide the child with proof that you understand what he or she is talking about.
Adult/child discourse A conversation between an adult/parent and a child.
Advocacy The act of engaging in strategies designed to improve the circumstances of children and families. Advocates move beyond their day-to-day professional responsibilities and work collaboratively to help others.
Anthroposophy The name Steiner gave to "the study of the wisdom of man"; the basic principle of Waldorf education.
Anti-bias curriculum An approach that seeks to provide children with an understanding of social and behavioral problems related to prejudice and seeks to provide them with the knowledge, attitude, and skills needed to combat prejudice.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) Theory that behavior rewarded is more likely to be repeated than behavior ignored.
Assessment The process of collecting and recording information about children's development, learning, health, behavior, academic process, need for special services, and attainment in order to make a variety of educational decisions about children and programs.
Assimilation The taking in of sensory data through experiences and impressions and incorporating them into existing knowledge.
Asthma A chronic lung disorder that is marked by recurring episodes of airway obstruction manifested by labored breathing accompanied especially by wheezing and coughing and by a sense of constriction in the chest, and that is triggered by hyperreactivity to va
Atelier A special area or studio in a Reggio Emilia school for creating projects.
Atelierista A Reggio Emilia teacher trained in the visual arts who works with teachers and children.
Attachment An enduring emotional tie between a parent/ caregiver and an infant that endures over time.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) A behavioral disorder in which children display cognitive delays as a result of difficulties with attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity.
Authentic assessment Assessment conducted through activities that require children to demonstrate what they know and are able to do; also referred to as performance-based assessment.
Autism A brain disorder that begins in early childhood and persists throughout life. Autism affects three crucial areas of development: communication, social interactions, and creative or imaginary play.
Autonomy An Erikson concept that occurs as toddlers mature physically and mentally and want to do things by themselves with no outside help.
Balanced approach A practice in which there is a balance between whole-language methods and phonics instruction that meets the specific needs of individual children.
Basic trust An Erikson concept that involves the trust, security, and basic optimism that an infant develops when nurtured and loved.
Behavior guidance A process by which teachers help all children learn to control and direct their behavior and become independent and self-reliant.
Benchmarks Statements that provide a description of student performance expected at specific grade levels, ages, or developmental levels. Benchmarks often are used in conjunction with standards.
Bias-free An environment, classroom setting, or program that is free of prejudicial behaviors.
Bonding A parent's initial emotional tie to an infant.
Bullying To treat abusively or affect by means of force or coercion
Child care Comprehensive care and education of young children outside their homes
Child development The study of how children change over time from birth to age eight
Child Development Associate (CDA) An individual who has successfully completed the CDA assessment process and has been awarded the CDA credential. CDAs are able to meet the specific needs of children and work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional
Childhood depression A disorder affecting as many as one in thirty-three children that can negatively impact feelings, thoughts and behavior and can manifest itself with physical symptoms of illness.
Children with disabilities Children who need special education and related services because of mental retardation, hearing impairments, speech or language impairments, serious emotional disturbances, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments,
Chronosystem The environmental contexts and events that influence children over their lifetimes, such as living in a technological age.
Circular response Developmental reaction that typically begins to develop in early infancy in which infants' actions cause them to react or when another person prompts an infant to try to repeat the original action; similar to a stimulus–response or cause-and-effect relat
Civil behavior How to treat others well and in turn be treated well.
Cognitive theory Jean Piaget's proposition that children develop intelligence through direct experiences with the physical world. In this sense, learning is an internal (mental) process involving children's adapting new knowledge to what they already know.
Concrete operations The third stage of operational or logical thought, often referred to as the "hands-on" period of cognitive development because the ability to reason is based on tangible objects and real experiences.
Constructivist process The continuous mental organizing, structuring, and restructuring of experiences, in relation to schemes of thought, or mental images, that result in cognitive growth.
Content knowledge Refers to the discipline (math, science, social studies, art, music, etc.) knowledge teachers should possess.
Culture A group's way of life, including basic values, beliefs, religion, language, clothing, food, and practices.
Curriculum All of the experiences children have while in school.
Curriculum alignment The process of matching curriculum to the standards and to tests that measure student achievement.
Developmental screening A procedure designed to identify children who should receive more intensive assessment or diagnosis, for potential developmental delays.
Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) Practice based on how children grow and develop and on individual and cultural differences.
Early childhood professional An educator who successfully teaches all children, promotes high personal standards, and continually expands his or her skills and knowledge.
Entitlement programs Programs and services children and families are entitled to because they meet the eligibility criteria for the services.
Ethical conduct Responsible behavior toward students and parents that allows you to be considered a professional.
Even Start Federally funded family literacy program that combines adult literacy and parenting training with early childhood education.
Exosystem Environments or settings in which children do not play an active role but which nonetheless influence their development.
Expanding horizons approach Also called the expanding environments approach, an approach to teaching social studies where the student is at the center of the expanding horizons and initial units, and at each grade level is exposed to a slowly widening environment.
Expressive language A preschooler's developing ability to talk fluently and articulately with teacher and peers, the ability to express oneself in the language of the school, and the ability to communicate needs and ideas.
Formal assessment Involves the use of standardized tests that have set procedures and instruction for administration and have been normed, meaning that it is possible to compare a child's score with the scores of a group of children who have already taken the same exam.
Formal operations The fourth stage of operational intelligence. Children become capable of dealing with increasingly complex verbal and hypothetical problems and are less dependent on concrete objects.
Free and appropriate education (FAPE) The idea that children must receive a free education suited to their age, maturity level, condition of disability, achievements, and parental expectations.
Gifted and talented children As defined by federal law, children who demonstrate the potential for high performance in intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacities.
Head Start A federal early childhood program serving children, ages three to five, who are socioeconomically challenged, and their families.
High/Scope educational model A constructivist educational model based on Piaget's cognitive development theory. High/Scope promotes the constructivist process of learning and broadens the child's emerging intellectual and social skills
High-stakes testing An assessment test used to either admit children into programs or promote them from one grade to the next
Holophrases One-word sentences toddlers use to communicate.
Home visitor program A program that involves visitation of children, parents, and other family members in their homes by trained personnel who provide information, training, and support.
"I" messages Messages that are designed to let children know that you have a problem with their behavior and that you want them to do something to change the behavior.
Impulse control The ability to stay on task, pay attention to a learning activity, work cooperatively with others, and not hit or interfere with the work of other children.
Independence The ability to work alone on a task, take care of oneself, and initiate projects without always being told what to do.
Individualized education program (IEP) A plan created to specify instruction for children with disabilities.
Individualized family service plan (IFSP) A plan created for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, specifying what services they will receive to help them reach their goals.
Infancy A child's first year of life.
Infant mental health Stage of emotional and social competence of young children.
Informal assessment The process of gathering information about students by means other than standardized tests.
Inquiry learning Involvement of children in activities and processes that lead to learning.
Integrated curriculum A curriculum in which one subject area is used to teach another.
Interpersonal skills The ability to get along and work with both peers and adults.
Interpretation A three-step process that includes examining the data/information that have been gathered, organizing and drawing conclusions from that data, and making decisions about teaching based on the conclusions.
Intersubjectivity Vygotskian concept based on the idea that individuals come to a task, problem, or conversation with their own subjective ways of making sense of it, and in the course of communication may arrive at some mutually agreed-on, or intersubjective, understandi
Language experience approach A reading instruction method that links oral and written language. Based on the premise that what is thought can be said, what is said can be written, and what is written can be read.
Learned helplessness A condition that can develop when children perceive that they are not doing as well as they can or as well as their peers, lose confidence in their abilities and achievement, and then attribute their failures to a lack of ability. These children are pass
Learning Acquisition of knowledge, behaviors, skills, and attitudes.
Learning centers Areas of the classroom specifically set up to promote student-centered, hands-on, active learning. Learning centers are built and organized around student interests, themes, and academic subjects. Teachers plan for how children will use the centers, the
Learning style The way a child is affected by his or her environment, emotions, sociological needs, physical characteristics, and psychological inclinations as he or she works to master new or difficult information or skills.
Least restrictive environment (LRE) Children with disabilities are educated with children who have no disabilities. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the di
Literacy The ability to read, write, speak, and listen.
Locus of control The source or place of control; the goal of behavioral guidance is to help children learn that their locus of control is internal, that they are responsible for their behavior, and that the rewards for good behavior come from within themselves.
Macrosystem The broader culture in which children live (e.g., democracy, individual freedom, and religious freedom).
Mastery-oriented attributions Attributions that include trying hard (industriousness), paying attention, determination, and stick-to-itiveness.
Maturationist theory Theory that holds that language acquisition is innate in all children regardless of country or culture.
Mesosystem Links or interactions between microsystems.
Microsystem The environmental settings in which children spend a lot of their time (e.g., children in child care spend about thirty-three hours a week in the microsystem of child care).
Middle childhood Describes children in the Erikson's industry versus inferiority stage of social-emotional development. This occurs when children are six to nine years of age and is a time when they gain confidence in and ego satisfaction from completing demanding tasks.
Montessori method Preschool or grade school that provides programs that use the philosophy, procedures, and materials developed by Maria Montessori for children ages one to eight years.
Multicultural awareness Appreciation for and understanding of people's cultures, socioeconomic status, and gender.
Multicultural infusion Permeating the curriculum with multicultural education to influence the way young children and teachers think about diversity issues.
Multiculturalism An approach to education based on the premise that all peoples in the United States should receive proportional attention in the curriculum.
Multidisciplinary assessment (MDA) A team approach using various methods to conduct a child's evaluation.
Multiple intelligences Howard Gardner's concept that people are "smart" in many ways; those intelligences include linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existentialist.
Neural shearing / Pruning The process of brain connections withering away when they are not used or used only a little.
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) A landmark act in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools.
Obesity Condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body.
Object permanence The concept that things out of sight continue to exist; this intellectual milestone typically begins to develop at four to eight months of age.
Observation The intentional, systematic act of looking at the behavior of a child or children in a particular setting, program, or situation; sometimes referred to as kid-watching.
Operation A reversible mental action.
Parent/family involvement Process of helping parents and family members use their abilities to benefit themselves, their children, and the early childhood program.
Pedagogical knowledge Refers to the knowledge about teaching and instructional practices teachers should possess.
Performance standards Specific examples of what students should know and do to demonstrate that they have mastered the knowledge and skills stated in the content standards.
Pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) A category of neurological disorders characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development.
Philosophy of education A set of beliefs about how children develop and learn and what and how they should be taught.
Phonics A method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups, and especially syllables.
Phonics instruction Teaching method that emphasizes teaching letter-sound correspondence so children can learn to combine sounds into words.
Portfolio A compilation of children's work samples, products, and teacher observations collected over time.
Poverty The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.
Pre-first-grade A program designed to provide children who are developmentally behind their peers the time they need to grow and learn in a supportive environment.
Pre-kindergarten A class or program preceding kindergarten for children usually from three to four years old.
Professional dispositions Values, commitments, and ethical decisions and practices that influence behavior toward students, families, colleagues, and members of the profession and community.
Professional knowledge Refers to the knowledge about the teaching profession teachers should possess.
Psychosocial development Erik H. Erikson's theory that contends that cognitive and social development must occur simultaneously.
Readiness Being ready to learn; possessing the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for learning and for success in school.
Readiness screening A procedure designed to determine if children have the cognitive and behavioral skills necessary for kindergarten success.
Receptive language Skills that toddlers and preschoolers develop, such as listening to the teacher and following directions.
Reflective practice The active process of thinking before teaching, during teaching, and after teaching in order to make decisions about how to plan, assess, and teach.
Reggio Emilia approach An educational program named for a town in Italy where it originated. This early education method emphasizes the child's relationships with family, peers, teachers, and the wider community; small-group interaction; schedules set by the child's personal r
Responsive relationship The relationship between a caregiver and the child that involves the caregiver being responsive to the needs and interests of each child.
Scaffolding Assistance or support of some kind from a teacher, parent, caregiver, or peer to help children complete tasks they cannot complete independently.
Scientific method A process used as the basis of scientific inquiry that includes the recognition of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.
Screening procedures Procedures that give you and others a broad picture of what children know and are able to do, as well as their physical and emotional status.
Self-actualization Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation based on the satisfaction of needs; Maslow maintained that children cannot achieve self-actualization until certain basic needs, including food, shelter, safety, and love, are met.
Private speech /Self-discourse An internal conversation between a person and himself or herself.
Self-regulation The ability of preschool children to control their emotions and behaviors, to delay gratification, and to build positive social relations with each other.
Sensory integration dysfunction (SID) A neurological disability in which the brain is unable to appropriately process information from the senses.
Shared reading A teaching method in which the teacher and children read together from text that is visible to all.
Sight word approach Also called whole-word or look-say, the approach involves presenting children with whole words so they develop a "sight vocabulary" that enables them to begin reading and writing.
Social constructivist approach A theory that says children construct or build their behavior as a result of learning from experience and from making decisions that lead to responsible behavior.
Socioeconomic status (SES) The social and economic background of an individual or individuals. It is a reflection of family income, maternal education level, and family occupation.
Standards Statements of what pre-K–12 students should know and be able to do.
Standards-based education (SBE) Curriculum, teaching, and testing based on local, state, and national standards.
Symbolic language Knowing the names of people, places, and things, words for concepts, and adjectives and prepositions.
Symbolic representation The understanding, which develops at about age two, that something else can stand for a mental image; for example, a word can represent real objects, something not present, and concepts.
Synaptogenesis The formation of connections, or synapses, among neurons; this process of brain development begins before birth and continues until age ten.
Telegraphic speech Two-word sentences, such as "go out" or "all gone," used by toddlers.
Temperament A child's general style of behavior.
Theory A statement of principles and ideas that attempts to explain events and how things happen.
Title I A federal program designed to improve the basic skills (reading and mathematics) of low-ability children from low-income families.
Toddlerhood The period of a child's life between one and three years of age.
Transition A passage from one learning setting, grade, program, or experience to another.
Universal kindergarten Kindergarten for all children.
Universal preschool Public preschool funded by tax dollars, and made available to all children ages two to five, regardless of need or family income.
Whole-language approach Philosophy of literacy development that advocates the use of real literature—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—to help children become motivated to read and write.
Zero to Three A national program promoting the healthy development of infants and toddlers.
Zone of proximal development (ZPD) That area of development into which a child can be led by a more competent partner. Also, the range of tasks that children cannot do independently but which they can learn with help.
Accommodation The process involved in changing old methods and adjusting to new situations.
Active listening Involves interactions with a child to provide the child with proof that you understand what he or she is talking about.
Adult/child discourse A conversation between an adult/parent and a child.
Advocacy The act of engaging in strategies designed to improve the circumstances of children and families. Advocates move beyond their day-to-day professional responsibilities and work collaboratively to help others.
Anthroposophy The name Steiner gave to "the study of the wisdom of man"; the basic principle of Waldorf education.
Anti-bias curriculum An approach that seeks to provide children with an understanding of social and behavioral problems related to prejudice and seeks to provide them with the knowledge, attitude, and skills needed to combat prejudice.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) Theory that behavior rewarded is more likely to be repeated than behavior ignored.
Assessment The process of collecting and recording information about children's development, learning, health, behavior, academic process, need for special services, and attainment in order to make a variety of educational decisions about children and programs.
Assimilation The taking in of sensory data through experiences and impressions and incorporating them into existing knowledge.
Asthma A chronic lung disorder marked by recurring episodes of airway obstruction manifested by labored breathing accompanied by wheezing and coughing and by a sense of constriction in the chest.
Atelier A special area or studio in a Reggio Emilia school for creating projects.
Atelierista A Reggio Emilia teacher trained in the visual arts who works with teachers and children.
Attachment An enduring emotional tie between a parent/ caregiver and an infant that endures over time.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) A behavioral disorder in which children display cognitive delays as a result of difficulties with attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity.
Authentic assessment Assessment conducted through activities that require children to demonstrate what they know and are able to do; also referred to as performance-based assessment.
Autism A brain disorder that begins in early childhood and persists throughout life. Autism affects three crucial areas of development: communication, social interactions, and creative or imaginary play.
Autonomy An Erikson concept that occurs as toddlers mature physically and mentally and want to do things by themselves with no outside help.
Balanced approach A practice in which there is a balance between whole-language methods and phonics instruction that meets the specific needs of individual children.
Basic trust An Erikson concept that involves the trust, security, and basic optimism that an infant develops when nurtured and loved.
Behavior guidance A process by which teachers help all children learn to control and direct their behavior and become independent and self-reliant.
Benchmarks Statements that provide a description of student performance expected at specific grade levels, ages, or developmental levels. Benchmarks often are used in conjunction with standards.
Bias-free An environment, classroom setting, or program that is free of prejudicial behaviors.
Bonding A parent's initial emotional tie to an infant.
Bullying To treat abusively or affect by means of force or coercion
Child care Comprehensive care and education of young children outside their homes
Child development The study of how children change over time from birth to age eight
Child Development Associate (CDA) An assessment process where adults demonstrate how to meet the specific needs of children, work with parents and other adults to nurture children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth.
Childhood depression A disorder affecting as many as one in thirty-three children that can negatively impact feelings, thoughts and behavior and can manifest itself with physical symptoms of illness.
Children with disabilities Children who services because of mental limitations, hearing impairments, speech/language impairments, serious emotional disturbances, orthopedic impairments, autism, other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities.
Chronosystem The environmental contexts and events that influence children over their lifetimes, such as living in a technological age.
Civil behavior How to treat others well and in turn be treated well.
Cognitive theory Jean Piaget's theory that children develop intelligence through direct experiences with the physical world. Learning is an internal (mental) process involving children's adapting new knowledge to what they already know.
Concrete operations The third stage of operational or logical thought, often referred to as the "hands-on" period of cognitive development because the ability to reason is based on tangible objects and real experiences.
Constructivist process The continuous mental organizing, structuring, and restructuring of experiences, in relation to schemes of thought, or mental images, that result in cognitive growth.
Content knowledge Refers to the discipline (math, science, social studies, art, music, etc.) knowledge teachers should possess.
Culture A group's way of life, including basic values, beliefs, religion, language, clothing, food, and practices.
Curriculum All of the experiences children have while in school.
Curriculum alignment The process of matching curriculum to the standards and to tests that measure student achievement.
Developmental screening A procedure designed to identify children who should receive more intensive assessment or diagnosis, for potential developmental delays.
Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) Practice based on how children grow and develop and on individual and cultural differences.
Early childhood professional An educator who successfully teaches all children, promotes high personal standards, and continually expands his or her skills and knowledge.
Entitlement programs Programs and services children and families are entitled to because they meet the eligibility criteria for the services.
Ethical conduct Responsible behavior toward students and parents that allows you to be considered a professional.
Even Start Federally funded family literacy program that combines adult literacy and parenting training with early childhood education.
Exosystem Environments or settings in which children do not play an active role but which nonetheless influence their development.
Expanding horizons approach Also called the expanding environments approach, an approach to teaching social studies where the student is at the center of the expanding horizons and initial units, and at each grade level is exposed to a slowly widening environment.
Expressive language A preschooler's developing ability to talk fluently and articulately with teacher and peers, the ability to express oneself in the language of the school, and the ability to communicate needs and ideas.
Formal assessment Use of standardized tests that have set procedures and instruction for administration and have been normed, meaning that it is possible to compare a child's score with the scores of a group of children who have already taken the same exam.
Formal operations The fourth stage of operational intelligence. Children become capable of dealing with increasingly complex verbal and hypothetical problems and are less dependent on concrete objects.
Free and appropriate education (FAPE) The idea that children must receive a free education suited to their age, maturity level, condition of disability, achievements, and parental expectations.
Gifted and talented children As defined by federal law, children who demonstrate the potential for high performance in intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacities.
Head Start A federal early childhood program serving children, ages three to five, who are socioeconomically challenged, and their families.
High/Scope educational model A constructivist educational model based on Piaget's cognitive development theory. High/Scope promotes the constructivist process of learning and broadens the child's emerging intellectual and social skills
High-stakes testing An assessment test used to either admit children into programs or promote them from one grade to the next
Holophrases One-word sentences toddlers use to communicate.
Home visitor program A program that involves visitation of children, parents, and other family members in their homes by trained personnel who provide information, training, and support.
"I" messages Messages that are designed to let children know that you have a problem with their behavior and that you want them to do something to change the behavior.
Impulse control The ability to stay on task, pay attention to a learning activity, work cooperatively with others, and not hit or interfere with the work of other children.
Independence The ability to work alone on a task, take care of oneself, and initiate projects without always being told what to do.
Individualized education program (IEP) A plan created to specify instruction for children with disabilities.
Individualized family service plan (IFSP) A plan created for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, specifying what services they will receive to help them reach their goals.
Infancy A child's first year of life.
Infant mental health Stage of emotional and social competence of young children.
Informal assessment The process of gathering information about students by means other than standardized tests.
Inquiry learning Involvement of children in activities and processes that lead to learning.
Integrated curriculum A curriculum in which one subject area is used to teach another.
Interpersonal skills The ability to get along and work with both peers and adults.
Interpretation A three-step process that includes examining the data/information that have been gathered, organizing and drawing conclusions from that data, and making decisions about teaching based on the conclusions.
Intersubjectivity Vygotskian concept that individuals come to a task, problem, or conversation with their own subjective ways of making sense of it, and in the course of communication may arrive at some mutually agreed-on understanding.
Language experience approach A reading instruction method that links oral and written language. Based on the premise that what is thought can be said, what is said can be written, and what is written can be read.
Learned helplessness A condition that may develop when children perceive that they are not doing as well as their peers, lose confidence in their abilities and achievement, and then attribute their failures to a lack of ability.
Learning Acquisition of knowledge, behaviors, skills, and attitudes.
Learning centers Areas in the classroom to promote student-centered, hands-on, active learning built and organized around student interests, themes, and academic subjects.
Learning style The way a child is affected by his or her environment, emotions, sociological needs, physical characteristics, and psychological inclinations as he or she works to master new or difficult information or skills.
Least restrictive environment (LRE) Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when education in regular classes cannot progress satisfactorily.
Literacy The ability to read, write, speak, and listen.
Locus of control The source or place of control; the goal of behavioral guidance is to help children learn that their locus of control is internal, that they are responsible for their behavior, and that the rewards for good behavior come from within themselves.
Macrosystem The broader culture in which children live (e.g., democracy, individual freedom, and religious freedom).
Mastery-oriented attributions Attributions that include trying hard (industriousness), paying attention, determination, and stick-to-itiveness.
Maturationist theory Theory that holds that language acquisition is innate in all children regardless of country or culture.
Mesosystem Links or interactions between microsystems.
Microsystem The environmental settings in which children spend a lot of their time (e.g., children in child care spend about thirty-three hours a week in the microsystem of child care).
Middle childhood When children are six to nine years of age, they gain confidence in and ego satisfaction from completing demanding tasks: described by Erikson's as industry versus inferiority stage of social-emotional development.
Montessori method Preschool or grade school that provides programs that use the philosophy, procedures, and materials developed by Maria Montessori for children ages one to eight years.
Multicultural awareness Appreciation for and understanding of people's cultures, socioeconomic status, and gender.
Multicultural infusion Permeating the curriculum with multicultural education to influence the way young children and teachers think about diversity issues.
Multiculturalism An approach to education based on the premise that all peoples in the United States should receive proportional attention in the curriculum.
Multidisciplinary assessment (MDA) A team approach using various methods to conduct a child's evaluation.
Multiple intelligences Howard Gardner's concept that people are "smart" in many ways; those intelligences include linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existentialist.
Neural shearing / Pruning The process of brain connections withering away when they are not used or used only a little.
No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) A landmark act in education reform designed to improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools.
Obesity Condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body.
Object permanence The concept that things out of sight continue to exist; this intellectual milestone typically begins to develop at four to eight months of age.
Observation The intentional, systematic act of looking at the behavior of a child or children in a particular setting, program, or situation; sometimes referred to as kid-watching.
Operation A reversible mental action.
Parent/family involvement Process of helping parents and family members use their abilities to benefit themselves, their children, and the early childhood program.
Pedagogical knowledge Refers to the knowledge about teaching and instructional practices teachers should possess.
Performance standards Specific examples of what students should know and do to demonstrate that they have mastered the knowledge and skills stated in the content standards.
Pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) A category of neurological disorders characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development.
Philosophy of education A set of beliefs about how children develop and learn and what and how they should be taught.
Phonics A method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups, and especially syllables.
Phonics instruction Teaching method that emphasizes teaching letter-sound correspondence so children can learn to combine sounds into words.
Portfolio A compilation of children's work samples, products, and teacher observations collected over time.
Poverty The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.
Pre-first-grade A program designed to provide children who are developmentally behind their peers the time they need to grow and learn in a supportive environment.
Pre-kindergarten A class or program preceding kindergarten for children usually from three to four years old.
Professional dispositions Values, commitments, and ethical decisions and practices that influence behavior toward students, families, colleagues, and members of the profession and community.
Professional knowledge Refers to the knowledge about the teaching profession teachers should possess.
Psychosocial development Erik H. Erikson's theory that contends that cognitive and social development must occur simultaneously.
Readiness Being ready to learn; possessing the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for learning and for success in school.
Readiness screening A procedure designed to determine if children have the cognitive and behavioral skills necessary for kindergarten success.
Receptive language Skills that toddlers and preschoolers develop, such as listening to the teacher and following directions.
Reflective practice The active process of thinking before teaching, during teaching, and after teaching in order to make decisions about how to plan, assess, and teach.
Reggio Emilia approach An s early education method, named for a town in Italy, emphasizes the child's relationships with family, peers, teachers, and the wider community; sand visual arts programs coordinated by a specially trained atelierista.
Responsive relationship The relationship between a caregiver and the child that involves the caregiver being responsive to the needs and interests of each child.
Scaffolding Assistance or support of some kind from a teacher, parent, caregiver, or peer to help children complete tasks they cannot complete independently.
Scientific method A process used as the basis of scientific inquiry that includes the recognition of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.
Screening procedures Procedures that give you and others a broad picture of what children know and are able to do, as well as their physical and emotional status.
Self-actualization Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation based on the satisfaction of needs; Maslow maintained that children cannot achieve self-actualization until certain basic needs, including food, shelter, safety, and love, are met.
Private speech /Self-discourse An internal conversation between a person and himself or herself.
Self-regulation The ability of preschool children to control their emotions and behaviors, to delay gratification, and to build positive social relations with each other.
Sensory integration dysfunction (SID) A neurological disability in which the brain is unable to appropriately process information from the senses.
Shared reading A teaching method in which the teacher and children read together from text that is visible to all.
Sight word approach Also called whole-word or look-say, the approach involves presenting children with whole words so they develop a "sight vocabulary" that enables them to begin reading and writing.
Social constructivist approach A theory that says children construct or build their behavior as a result of learning from experience and from making decisions that lead to responsible behavior.
Socioeconomic status (SES) The social and economic background of an individual or individuals. It is a reflection of family income, maternal education level, and family occupation.
Standards Statements of what pre-K–12 students should know and be able to do.
Standards-based education (SBE) Curriculum, teaching, and testing based on local, state, and national standards.
Symbolic language Knowing the names of people, places, and things, words for concepts, and adjectives and prepositions.
Symbolic representation The understanding, which develops at about age two, that something else can stand for a mental image; for example, a word can represent real objects, something not present, and concepts.
Synaptogenesis The formation of connections, or synapses, among neurons; this process of brain development begins before birth and continues until age ten.
Telegraphic speech Two-word sentences, such as "go out" or "all gone," used by toddlers.
Temperament A child's general style of behavior.
Theory A statement of principles and ideas that attempts to explain events and how things happen.
Title I A federal program designed to improve the basic skills (reading and mathematics) of low-ability children from low-income families.
Toddlerhood The period of a child's life between one and three years of age.
Transition A passage from one learning setting, grade, program, or experience to another.
Universal kindergarten Kindergarten for all children.
Universal preschool Public preschool funded by tax dollars, and made available to all children ages two to five, regardless of need or family income.
Whole-language approach Philosophy of literacy development that advocates the use of real literature—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—to help children become motivated to read and write.
Zero to Three A national program promoting the healthy development of infants and toddlers.
Zone of proximal development (ZPD) That area of development into which a child can be led by a more competent partner. Also, the range of tasks that children cannot do independently but which they can learn with help.
Created by: marylu