Jargon Jungle: Edition 2
Somehow two weeks have passed by in a span of time that normally fits only one, and I'm left shaking my head that anyone believes I have the summer off.
So a bit tardy but better late than never, here's the next installment of The Jargon Jungle, now with Free Bonus Definitions[tm]!
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): (ad-kw&t 'yir-lE 'prä-gr&s) [n] a carved-in-granite, absolute, objective measure of school quality whose standards and measurements change more often than an 8th grader's social circle. Synonym: subjectivity. Antonym: effectiveness.
Best Practices: ('best /'prak-t&s/) [n] 1. Teaching methods only those outside of education want used. 2. A list of teaching methods handed down by politicians, administrators, and schools of education, all of whom seem to labor under the delusion that teachers prefer to use their worst practices in their classrooms and that one size fits all when it comes to teaching and learning styles. Synonyms: boring, redundant. Antonyms: logical.
Data-driven: ('dA-t& 'dri-v&n) [adj] 1. Phenomenon in which effectiveness is measured solely by numbers, many of which are preceded by the "$" symbol. Larger numbers always signify a better education, unless the term is applied to teacher salaries. 2. An overnight phenomenon in which a previously effective classroom instruction program will suddenly cease to function unless a team of experts is brought in with thousands of dollars worth of computer software that no one but them knows how to use and binders full of reports that no one bothers to read. The more costly a data-driven progam, the more effective those not involved in education perceive it to be. Synonyms: NCLB, costly. Antonym: student-oriented.
Research-driven: (ri-'s&rch 'dri-v&n) [adj] Educational programs implemented by people who have never taught in a K-12 school, but are good at using Microsoft Excel. Similar to data-driven programs, they can usually be identified by adults wearing suits that cost more than your first teaching paycheck, carrying briefcases and binders full of numbers that make sense to no one but themselves. Synonyms: pedantic, didactic. Antonym: useful.
Teachable moment: ('tE-ch&-b&l 'mO-m&nt) [n] 1. the brief period of time teachers get to actually teach their subject matter when they've gotten ahead of their scripted test-preparation activities. 2. The moment when a student realizes that severe punishment is imminent if he/she doesn't stop trying to stick a pencil in the ear of the person in front of them and pay attention to the lesson. Synonyms: satori, nirvana. Antonyms: scripted lesson, text messaging.
Zone of Proximal Development: ('zOn 'äv 'präk-s&-m&l di-'ve-l&p-m&nt) [n] 1. When the school places new portable classrooms on top of valuable playground real estate. 2. The distance a teacher gets when walking away from a student's desk after confirming that yes, the student understands the assignment and doesn't have any more questions, and before that student raises his or her hand with a question. Synonym: aggravation. Antonym: patience.