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Glossary of Educational Terms


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Team teaching
A teaching method in which two or more teachers teach the same subjects or theme. The teachers may alternate teaching the entire group or divide the group into sections or classes that rotate between the teachers.

A system of due process and employment guarantee for teachers. After serving a two-year probationary period, teachers are assured continued employment in the school district unless carefully defined procedures for dismissal or layoff are successfully followed. (Ed Source)

thematic units
A unit of study that has lessons focused on a specific theme, sometimes covering all core subject areas. It is often used as an alternative approach to teaching history or social studies chronologically.

Title 1
A federal program that provides funds to improve the academic achievement for educationally disadvantaged students who score below the 50th percentile on standardized tests, including the children of migrant workers. (Ed Source)

A common instructional practice of organizing student in groups based on their academic skills. Tracking allows a teacher to provide the same level of instruction to the entire group.

traditional calendar
School starts in September and ends in June for a total of 180 days of instruction.

whole language
A teaching method that focuses on reading for meaning in context.

Williams v. California
A lawsuit filed in 2000 that argued that the state has a constitutional duty to ensure basic educational equality and contended that California has failed in that duty by not providing thousands of students in public schools with "bare minimum necessities," defined as textbooks, trained teachers, and safe, clean, uncrowded facilities. The lawsuit further argued that low-income students and students of color are the most likely to bear the burden of inadequate resources. (Ed Source)

year-round education
A modified school calendar that gives students short breaks throughout the year, instead of a traditional three-month summer break. Year-round calendars vary, sometimes within the same school district. Some schools use the staggered schedule to relieve overcrowding, while others believe the three-month break allows students to forget much of the material covered in the previous year.


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