Educational Lingo

There is quite a lexicon that goes with teaching. I will attempt to provide definitions of some of the words I use, and eventually put up more and more as I learn about what these words actually mean in the context of teaching in a real classroom (which is obviously very different than just sitting in a chair and learning about them and being tested on their definition).

Border work– teasing used to create and/or maintain boundaries between genders

Ego resiliency– ability to modify self-restraint to adapt to changing circumstances

Emotional regulation– capacity to control and direct emotional expression and maintain behavior

Empathy and altruism– sensing the emotions of another person acting unselfishly to aid someone else

Gender-constancy– understanding that gender is consistent despite superficial changes

Gender-role concept– knowledge of male/female cultural stereotypes

Gender schema theory– children form concepts based on social learning histories

Hostile aggression– aggression with the sole intention of hurting someone else

Instrumental aggression– physical aggression to obtain something

Latency period– middle childhood, as named by Freud, it was thought that not much went on in this time period (sexually, according to Freudian theory)

Metatheory of the self– children’s understanding of the nature of selves in general

Motivation– psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal, can be extrinsic (from outside, such as in a toy or token reward) or intrinsic (from within, because interest is sparked)

Peer group norm– informal rules governing the conduct of children within a peer group

Probe (probing)– When a student provides a short or vague answer and you need more depth or clarity, use probing. It encourages students to think through answer more thoroughly, helps to develop quality in their answer, prove more support- clearer questions (“What makes you think he made Alice jump off the boat?”).

Prompt (prompting)– When a student seems lost or too nervous or shy to answer a question, use prompting to help them out. Use a series of hints, encourage an answer.

Psychological self– self concept made of psychological characteristics such as mental abilities and customary ways of feeling

Reinforcement– Use reinforcement to reward good student performance, either verbally or non-verbally (don’t confuse reinforcement with rewards)

Self-constancy– enduring sense of self that continues despite relational disruptions

Self-efficacy– being able to do something effectively on one’s own

Sex-typed behavior– actions conform to culturally appropriate gender behavior

Social self– awareness that the self is intimately tied to other people

Wait-time– Appropriate wait-time is 3-5 seconds. Wait-time just means pausing to give all students time to think so students who process questions and information less quickly are given an equal opportunity to think and then be more likely to answer. Avoid allowing quick responses.
They say using wait-time might be awkward for new teachers. I agree; I tend to be nervous and speed from one thing to another so fast that I almost cut students’ answers off.


(more to come…)