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Standards 2010: Glossary

accreditation: The process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality through voluntary peer review.

all readers: See all students.

all students: Refers to all students, including those who are advanced and proficient or gifted and talented, as well as those who may experience difficulty with reading and writing, such as English learners, students with learning disabilities, racially and ethnically diverse students, and students with mental disabilities.

assessment: An evaluated activity or task used by a program or unit to determine the extent to which specific learning proficiencies, outcomes, or standards have been mastered by candidates. Assessments usually include an instrument that details the task or activity and a scoring guide used to evaluate the task or activity.

assessment system: A comprehensive and integrated set of evaluation measures that provide information for use in monitoring candidate performance and managing and improving unit operations and programs for the preparation of professional educators.

balanced curriculum: A curriculum that provides teachers with a flexible framework and aligns with key factors, such as local, state, and national standards and formative and summative assessments, supports the use of traditional print, digital, and online resources, and recognizes how students learn and what they need to know.

candidates: Individuals admitted to or enrolled in programs for the initial or advanced preparation of teachers, teachers continuing their professional development, or other professional school personnel. Candidates are distinguished from students in pre-K–12 schools.

certification: The process by which a nongovernmental agency or association grants professional recognition to an individual or program that has met certain predetermined qualifications specified by that agency or association.

clinical faculty: School and higher education faculty responsible for instruction, supervision, and assessment of candidates during field experience and clinical practice.

clinical practice: Student teaching or internships that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating activity. Candidates are immersed in the learning community and provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing.

cognitive model of reading: As described in McKenna & Stahl (2009), Indicates that “reading is composed of three separate components. Reading comprehension, the purpose of reading, depends on (1) automatic recognition of the words in the text, (2) comprehension of the language in the text, and (3) the ability to use the strategies needed to achieve one's purpose in reading the text” (p. 8). Phonological awareness, decoding, sight words, and fluency and use of context lead to automatic word recognition. Language comprehension includes vocabulary meaning, background knowledge, and text structure. Strategic knowledge is comprised of print concepts, general purposes for reading, specific purposes for reading, and knowledge of reading strategies.

cultural background: The context of one's life experience as shaped by membership in groups based on ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geographical area.

curriculum: The intended, enacted, assessed, and learned experiences at a specific age level or in a specific subject area. The intended curriculum is derived from state and national standards. The enacted curriculum is what is actually taught to students, and the learned curriculum is what students know and are able to do. The assessed curriculum refers to the content, skills, and strategies used.

differentiated instruction: The provision of varied learning situations, such as as whole-class, small-group, or individual instruction, to meet the needs of students at different levels of reading competence. Differentiated instruction is designed to meet the needs of each student in the classroom. It makes explicit and builds on individual students' knowledge and capabilities while teaching specific skills and strategies that are needed by each student. Differentiated instruction within the classroom includes small and flexible grouping arrangements and, at times, specific instruction for individuals.

dispositions: The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator's own professional growth. Dispositions are guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values, such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice. For example, dispositions might include a belief that all students can learn, a vision of high and challenging standards, or a commitment to a safe and supportive learning environment.

diversity: Respect for and valuing of differences among groups and individuals related to such factors as ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, learning exceptionalities, geographic area, physical abilities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and political affiliations and other ideologies.

elementary grades: Most often includes grades K–6. However, in some school district configurations, elementary grades may include K–8.

elements of Standards: The major components of each Standard that are described in the rubrics and the explanations that accompany the Standards. Standards is the term that describes the primary level, and elements is the secondary level.

English learners: Children and adults who are learning English as a second or additional language. This term may apply to learners across levels of proficiency in English. English learners may also be referred to as English-language learners, non–English-speaking, limited English proficient, nonnative speakers, and language-minority students. A majority of students identified as limited English proficient in U.S. schools are native born (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

ethnicity: Physical and cultural characteristics that make a social group distinctive and may include, but are not limited to, national origin, ancestry, language, shared history, traditions, values, and symbols—all of which contribute to a sense of distinctiveness among members of an ethnic group.

evidence-based education: The integration of best available empirical evidence with professional wisdom in making decisions about how to deliver instruction. Empirical evidence is scientifically based evidence in which objective measures of performance are used to compare, evaluate, and monitor progress. Professional wisdom is the judgment that individuals acquire through experience and is reflected through numerous ways, including the effective identification and incorporation of local circumstances into instruction.

exceptionalities: A physical, mental, or emotional condition, including gifted and talented abilities, that requires individualized instruction or other educational support or services.

field experiences: A variety of early and ongoing field-based opportunities in which candidates may observe, assist, tutor, instruct, and/or conduct research. Field experiences may occur in off-campus settings such as schools, community centers, or homeless shelters.

full-time faculty: Employees of a higher education institution with full-time assignments with the professional education unit, who include instructors, professors at different ranks, administrators, and professional support personnel.

indicators of the Standards: The components of each of the elements of a Standard that describe performance at the end of a preparation program that must be met to meet the Standard.

initial teacher preparation: Programs at baccalaureate or postbaccalaureate levels that prepare candidates for their first teaching license.

internship: Generally, postlicensure or graduate clinical practice under the supervision of clinical faculty; sometimes refers to the preservice clinical experience.

licensure: The official recognition by a state governmental agency that an individual has met certain qualifications specified by the state and is, therefore, approved to practice in an occupation as a professional. (Some state agencies call their licenses certificates or credentials.)

literacy: The ability to read, write, speak, listen, view, visually represent, and think in order to communicate and contribute to society.

literate: The ability to read, write, and have knowledge and appreciation of literature.

middle grades: Most often refers to grades 6–8. However, many districts may use 5–8, 7–8, or 7–9 as middle-grade designations. See secondary grades.

new literacies: Information and communication technologies, such as cellular telephones, personal computers, MP3 players, and the Internet, that shape new forms of reading and writing, including the skills, strategies, and dispositions necessary to successfully use and adapt to the rapidly changing information and communication technologies and contexts that continually emerge in our world.

off-campus programs: Programs offered by a unit on sites other than the main campus. Off-campus programs may be offered in the same state, in other states, or in countries other than the United States.

other professional school personnel: Educators who provide professional services other than teaching in schools, who include, but are not limited to, principals, reading specialists and supervisors, school library media specialists, school psychologists, school superintendents, and instructional technology specialists.

partner schools: Public and private schools with which the program coordinator collaborates in designing field experiences, practical assignments, and internships in reading for candidates under the supervision of school and program faculty. These field experiences and assignments can occur both in the candidates' schools and in other school settings.

part-time faculty: Employees of a higher education institution who have less than a full-time assignment in the professional education unit. Some part-time faculty are full-time employees of the college or university, with a portion of their assignments in the professional education unit. Other part-time faculty are not full-time employees of the institution and are commonly considered adjunct faculty.

pedagogical content knowledge: The interaction of subject matter and effective teaching strategies to help students learn the subject matter. It requires a thorough understanding of the content to teach it in multiple ways, drawing on the cultural backgrounds and prior knowledge and experiences of the students.

pedagogical knowledge: The general concepts, theories, and research about effective teaching, regardless of content areas.

performance-based assessment: A comprehensive assessment through which candidates demonstrate their proficiencies in subject, professional, and pedagogical knowledge and skills, including their abilities to have positive effects on student learning.

professional community: Full- and part-time faculty, including clinical faculty, in the professional education unit, or other units of the college or university, as well as pre-K–12 practitioners, candidates, and others involved in professional education.

professional development: Opportunities for educators to develop new knowledge and skills through inservice education, conference attendance, sabbatical leave, summer leave, intra- and interinstitutional visitations, fellowships, job-embedded coaching, and so forth.

professional education faculty: Individuals employed by a college or university, including graduate teaching assistants, who teach one or more courses in education, provide services to candidates (e.g., advising), supervise clinical experiences, or administer some portion of the unit.

program: A planned sequence of courses and experiences for preparing pre-K–12 teachers and other professional school personnel. These courses and experiences sometimes lead to a recommendation for a state license to work in schools.

reading development: The course of change in an individual's reading processes from their emergence in reading to learning the more mature skills and abilities of the competent reader.

Response to Intervention: A U.S. initiative that encourages schools to provide early, effective assistance to children who have difficulty with learning. Response to Intervention was also designed to function as a data-based process of diagnosing learning disabilities. This method can be used at the group and individual levels.

rubrics: Written and shared criteria for judging performance that indicate the qualities by which levels of performance can be differentiated and that anchor judgments about the degree of success on a candidate's assessment.

scholarly work: Research and other creative work, including presentations, exhibits, and demonstrations, that contribute to knowledge building.

school faculty: Licensed practitioners in pre-K–12 schools who provide instruction, supervision, and direction for candidates during field-based assignments.

schools: Public and private pre-K–12 institutions that provide instruction in a prescribed curriculum delivered by licensed practitioners. Candidates are placed in local schools for pre–student teaching experiences related to the reading program.

secondary grades: Grades 7–12, depending on school district configurations. See middle grades.

specialized professional associations: The national organizations that represent teachers, professional education faculty, and other school personnel who teach a specific subject matter (e.g., mathematics or social studies), teach students at a specific developmental level (i.e., early childhood, elementary, middle level, or secondary), teach students with specific needs (e.g., bilingual education or special education), administer schools (e.g., principals or superintendents), or provide services to students (e.g., school counselors or school psychologists). Many of these associations are constituent members of NCATE and have standards for both students in schools and candidates preparing to work in schools.

standards: Written expectations for meeting a specified level of performance. Standards exist for the content that pre-K–12 students should know at a certain age or grade level.

state approval: Governmental activity requiring specific professional development education programs within a state to meet standards of quality, so program graduates will be eligible for licensing.

struggling readers: Refers to any student experiencing difficulty in learning to read and write. The term describes behavior and does not imply any specific causes or identify students as belonging to a specific category, such as having a particular learning disability. Further, not all students identified as English learners are struggling readers; neither are all students who are racially or ethnically diverse.

students: Children and youth attending pre-K–12 schools, as distinguished from teacher candidates.

student teaching: Preservice clinical practice for candidates preparing to teach.

supervised practicum experience: A supervised practicum has a supervisor who is licensed in the area that he or she is observing and has the appropriate credentials (see the Teacher Educator Candidates column in the Standards matrixes). A portion of the supervised practicum experience should require working with students who struggle with reading and include collaborative and coaching experiences with teachers. Such experiences may occur in reading/literacy clinics or school-based programs. Practicum experiences may also be embedded in course assignments that require classroom-based interventions; these may be supervised through lesson plans, conferences, site visits, videotapes, and so forth.

technology: See new literacies.

vignette: A short, impressionistic story that gives a particular insight into the multiple roles of a reading professional and the environment in which he or she teaches.


McKenna, M.C., & Stahl, K.A.D. (2009). Assessment for reading instruction (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2007). Assessment and accountability for recently arrived and former limited English proficient (LEP) students: Non-regulatory guidance. Washington, DC: Author.