The First Year Grad Student’s Dictionary of Educational Terms

Feel free to jump in and add, revise, edit, or whatever. You can't break anything ... it is always possible to revert to any previous version.
Hint: For some reason the Visual Editor for any wiki does strange stuff with formatting fairly often. This can be fixed in the Text Editor.
For tips and a place to experiment, you can use
  • wikitext (for help formatting text, links, etc. in the wikispaces text editor)
  • sandbox (a place to play and experiment with wiki editing)

Also, I would always compose and save in your Word Processor and then paste into the wiki. I would copy from Word to Wordpad or Notepad to get rid of Word formatting, and then copy from the simpler program into the wiki. The wiki is edited in a web-based environment that anyone can use, but it uses a much more limited set of features than a word processing program. Control over fonts and font sizes is much more limited, for example, as well as other formatting.

Note that this "dictionary" page can be used also as an index page to articles on any entries for which you'd like to have a separate page just for elaboration of that entry. Just put [ [ before and ] ] after the word (with no space between 2 brackets), and when you "save" that will be a link for a page with that word as its file name. See the wikitext page linked above for other things you can do with the text that's linked and the filename that's created. (note that if I removed the spaces between brackets above, then when I save this page the brackets would no longer be displayed, and there would be a link for a new page named "before and"). I have done this with "abstraction" below. If you click on that you can start editing a new page on "abstraction." See also the entry for "tenured graduate student" for how to link to an external site; note that the outside source is credited for the definition in quotation marks; so any edits on that entry should not mess with the quoted text.


A ...

  • ableism (n.): (1) the study of the elusive graduate student who is able to defend their dissertation; (2) those who are the most deserving of all societal goodies, such as the Ph.D. (see racism)
  • abstraction (n.): inability to see important details;
  • academia (n.): 1) asylum for nuts, 2) a community of socially dysfunctional people
  • Activity Theory (n.): a colorful combination of words and triangles that sometimes helps to fix dysfuctional practices and institutions
  • accountability (n.): the ability to do accounting
  • administrator (n., Rus.): In Russian, originally "minister of hell."
  • advisor (n.): a person who primarily cares about graduate students (see caring and graduate students)
  • ANOVA (n.): the rejection of novas in the universe, including "supernova," and "novacaine"
  • agency (n.): for a student, doing not what the teacher wants you to do, but to want what the teacher wants you to do (see leisure, education for desire)
  • aggression (n.): grad student in 11th year of the program (cf. regression)
  • anthropologist (n.): a sociologist of exotics (see sociologist)
  • apprenticeship (n.): do not ask what your advisor can do for you, ask what you can do for your advisor (see graduate students aka second authors)
  • argument (n., v.): to fuck (as in "I don’t give an argument…")
  • artificial intelligence (n.): slavery
  • assertive student (n.): Of course, within the realm of cooperation with the instructor/advisor (see consensus).
  • assessment (n.): the measurement of a student’s butt size -- "She’s much better in her assessment this semester!" (see also statistics; effect size)
  • assistant (n., adj.): one who does whole work without any credit but with full responsibility for all mistakes, troubles, and mishaps (as in Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Assistant Professor)
  • Associate Professor (n.): a person mistaken for a professor
  • Astrological Forecast (n.v.): All sun signs automatically becoming retrograde once you enter the PhD program, therefore all predictions become the same: You will enter a dark period of your life, as a result you will finish your dissertation, or you will rearrange many portions of text, or you will simply gain weight. It is likely that a great love will enter your life, but you will be too preoccupied to notice. Your domestic surroundings will become encrusted.
  • attachment (n.): unhealthy relation between a grad student and his/her advisor (see also regression)
  • authorship (n.): Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue (see first-author, graduate students aka second authors).

B ...

  • Bakhtin (n., v.): 1) a ointment used for disinfecting cuts (from Bakhticracin); 2) a Russian literary philosopher frequently cited by educators who have never read anything he wrote. This phenomenon is called straight heteroglossia; 3) Dr. Dialogue (Dee Dee, or "double D")
  • banana (n.): does not go together with tea (Japanese), like in "Advisor should never socialize with his graduate students."
  • behaviorism (n.): the study of how to "behave" during the mandatory colloquia, also "politeness" and "etiquette" (see also mandatory)
  • B.S. (n. adj.): BS (see M.S.)
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C ...

  • caring (n., adj.): professors’ rationalization and justification of abuse of their students as in “it’s only because I care about you!” (see advisor and graduate students)
  • co-constructivism (n., v.): pooping on structures and structuralism (derives from Portuguese) ;
  • coding (v.): putting your research into a “code” so nobody but other professors can understand it, as in “Go code that study before some teacher gets ahold of it!”
  • cognitive (adj.): having to do with cogs or small machine parts
  • colloquium (n); colloquia (n.; pl.); ass abuse (see also caring; meeting; statistics)
  • committee (n); a body with 12 stomachs and no brain
  • conceptual framework (n.): the structure that holds up your conceptual tent, which you can crawl into to escape the real world
  • conditional reflex (n.): drooling in a student cafeteria (see unconditional reflex)
  • conference (n.): a place where lots of "scholars" get money to socialize, travel, and eat free food (see food; sociocultural).
  • consensus (n.): agreement with the authority;
  • conservative (n., adj.): 1) the obsessive desire to keep everything old (pack rat), 2) some children around 7-year old who naively believe that blue and green baloons have the same size (see also Piaget)
  • constructivism (n.): the love of construction, or buildings
  • correlate (v.): having extramarital “affairs” (a term coming from family psychology); “They’ve been correlating now for the last six months! That’s impossible! Someone should tell his wife!”
  • critical theory (n.): a very, very important theory, as in “Gravity is a critical theory!”
  • critical thinking (n.): finding new ways of how to praise your advisor while putting down his or her intellectual enemies
  • covariate (n.): the most interesting components of the classroom left out of a research study.
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D ...

  • data (n.): a fictional account of mundane events (see data analysis)
  • data analysis (n.): preparing data for publication in peer-reviewed professional journal (see data)
  • dean (n., v.): See administrator.
  • decontextualization: A fancy word educators use for “junk” (“Please place the decontextualization in the trash can!”)
  • Dewey (v.aux., pron., colloq.): the beginning of an interrogative sentence in the first person plural, as in “Dewey really have to read this whole book?”
  • dialogue (n.): formally known as “stereo”
  • discourse (n., v.): 1) to make smooth, as in “Use that sandpaper to discourse this board”, 2) to lose one’s direction, 3) to fail a class.
  • dissertation (n., v.): 1) an unpleasant mishap in grad students (as in “dissertation happens”), 2) cruel and unusual punishment for grad students, 3) a state of mental constipation in grad students, 4) a long paper read by exactly four people
  • dissertation defense (n.): public humiliation, hazing, rite of passage in order to become an advisor (see advisor)
  • Dostoevsky (n.): Russian famous conservative writer of the XIX century whom every progressive reads. D. hated modernism and was the founder of pre- and post- modernism (see pre-modernism, modernism, and post-modernism). His writing was extremely dialogic (see dialogue)
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E ...

  • education (n., v.): extremely expensive piece of paper without much substance (as in "I got good education")
  • education for desire (n.): to learn to desire what authority wants you to do (see agency)
  • effect size (n.): a term frequently encountered in spam literature to refer to "penis enlargement"
  • e-mail (n.): the opposite of female
  • empirical (adj.): having to do with "the Empire", as in "Darth Vader was extremely empirical."
  • empirical evidence (n.): a scientist’s way of saying "fuck you!"
  • enlightenment (n.): arsonist;
  • evaluation (n.): 1) counting money for lunch, 2) trying to find any value for staying another year in graduate program (see gradaute program)
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F ...

  • faculty (n., Ir.): Originally in Irish, Fuckulty (see also meeting, advisor)
  • family commitment (n.): 1) distraction, 2) fake excuse, 3) laziness, 4) wrong priorities (cf. "caring")
  • famous scholar (n.): a broadly known scholar in very narrow circles
  • Feminist (n.): A school of researchers who have discovered the central truth of the universe: Men are stupid; and its corrolary; Women are always right.
  • feminist literature (n.): a term frequently encountered in spam literature to refer to a highly disputable argument that “the effect directly correlates to the size” (see effect size; correlation)
  • financial aid (n.): 1) now we can eat! (see graduate students aka second authors), 2) grad students' secret business on a side to keep running (usually tax-exempted)
  • first author (n.): see advisor (of course)
  • السنة الاولى غراد الطالب قاموس المصطلحات التربوي Blog version of this First Year ... Dictionary (as of 10/06), as someone had it rendered into Arabic by Google translate (good luck with that!)
  • food (n.): sociocultural approach to education (see sociocultural)
  • Foucault (n.): Frenchenazed name of a great Chinese scholar Fu-ko who studied discipline and punishment and lived during the Mean Dynasty (2nd century AD). F. became famous first in China and then in Italy for inventing the Great Chinese Wall, panopticum, black powder, and antipasta. For brief time, he was a second best friend of Confucian.
  • frame (n., v.): 1. something you put a picture in to show it off. 2. (also “to frame”) something you put an argument in, to show it off, as in “That argument was so good that I framed it!”
  • Freud (n.): A famous closeted gay Austrian Jewish psychoanalyst being obsessed with imagining penises in women (see "penis envy")
  • Full Professor (n.): derived from Irish “Fool Professor” as in “Professor full of…”
  • Funds of Knowledge (n.): What graduate students of the soft sciences may expect of their future careers, versus Funds of Finances, which applies to everyone else.

G ...

  • graduate students aka second-authors (n.; pl. only): students with standards who cannot graduate (as in “do you really think this is publishable material? In what journal do you think this is going to be published? (see advisor, undergraduate, caring). Formerly was referred to in the singular (now obsolete).
  • graduate program (n.): the process is more important than satisfaction
  • grant (n.): shopping for expensive gadgets and foreign travel to "conferences" in exotic (usually warm and sunny) locales
  • guidance (n.): A fancy word a professor uses for “read my mind!” (see caring, advisor, graduate student)
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H ...

  • hemorrhoid (n.): another professional achievement of a scholar (see “scholar”, “sclerosis”, “colloquia”, “meeting” )
  • hermaphrodite (n.): the sexual orientation of grad students (it effectively focuses them on their work, apprenticeship, and studies)
  • high stakes testing (n.): can I get fries with that?! Supersize me!
  • Howard Gardner (n.): kinesthetically challenged
  • hypothesis (n.): something one person makes up under influence of marijuana (see also “theory” and “law”)
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I ...

  • inference (n.): the Canadian interpretation of the theories and teaching of Marquis de Sade (see statistics)
  • information processing (n.): delusional confusion of the mind with a computer;
  • insecurely attached to the advisor (n.): grad student's anxiety of being dumped by the advisor (see care);
  • identity (n.): the four last digits of one’s social security number
  • inquiry (n.): an objective reading of “The National Enquirer” (spelled with an “in-“ for copyright reasons)
  • intellegent design (n.): an African-American game of dissing that makes words mean the opposite, literally "stupid prejudice"
  • international student (n., adj.): One who cannot speak English, even those who come from other so-called “English-speaking” countries (including Great Britain)
  • insight (n., v.): mental farting
  • IQ (n.): penis size envy, criticized by feminist theory, as in “my IQ is 127 inches!” (see also effect size; feminist theory)
  • irrationality (n.): seeing differences among things (see rationality)
  • informs (v.): 1. a form of conservation, as in, "My previously irrelevant research informs my present research, thereby proving the former's value. 2.. a form of communication; The passenger informs the driver that he missed the turn (a backseat driving).
  • IPS (n.): originally IPD from Bakhtin's notion of Internally Persuasive Discourse as opposed to externally authoritative discourse. IPS however is a combination of external and internal discourse. The scream being the internal discourse response to the externally authoritative demands placed on graduate students while said graduate students attempt to live in reality (i.e. 24 hrs = 1 day). Ex. as in take full time classes, work in an assistantship, and present research at grad student forums with high stakes consequence of graduate student removal for non compliance. See reality above that suggests that the reality of 24 hrs = 1 day is not the standard definition for employed professors. Possibly because as Ivory Tower Members of the "fake" world, as opposed to those who function in the "real" world, linear formulations of time are suspended.

J ...

  • job (n.): 1) entrance to advisement (see advisor); 2) just one step away from full participation in social dysfunction (see academia)
  • job talk (n.): public hazing, humiliation, but more subtle than in a dissertation defense

K ...

  • kinesiology (n.): one theory for the widespread wearing of athletic clothing to research classes, wearing whistles and smelling bad
  • knowledge (n.): 1) hidden reference to power and threat of violence ("every idiot knows that 2 plus 2 equals 4!"); 2) what appears to be responsible for increased penis size (see effect size; IQ) and for other good things in life (see leisure)

L ...

M ...

  • mandatory (n.): justification for professor’s teaching load (similar to “required”)
  • MANOVA (n.): a fancy word for “shit”
  • meeting (n.): see colloquia
  • modernism (n.): dislike of old things in favor of new ones (see also “post-modernism”)
  • monologic (adj.): 1) professor, like any boss, is always right, 2) speaking with graduate students in one word commands (e.g., "Work!" "Listen!" "Sit!" "Shut-up!")
  • moral education (n.): an education that does not go out a party all night
  • motivation (n., colloq.): another term for “post-traumatic stress syndrome” (see also graduate students; caring)
  • M.S. (n.): a master of BS (see B.S.)
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N ...

  • neo-conservative (n., adj.): actually it is a misnomer that means archi-conservative (like in "Bush" for example, see also "pre-modern") or neo-liberal (like in "neo-liberal economy")
  • No Child Left Behind, NCLB (n.): a federal policy of saving money on education by punishing schools that poorly perform on state tests (it isn't funny!)
  • nomonology (n.): the study of gnomes
  • normal (n., adj.): 1) correct, 2) standard, 3) well-balanced, 4) dull, 5) without flavor, 6) transparent, 7) privilaged, 8) rich, 9) universal, and, in other words, 10) white middle- and upper-class fully-able Anglo-Saxen Protestant middle-aged male (in US). Which begs the question, males are normal?
  • normal distribution (n.): 1. the average IQ in society (see IQ); 2. the distribution of IQ among certain social groups (as in “I think Black people have bigger IQs!”); 3. getting an assistantship for graduate students
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O ...

  • object (n.): things to consume, manipulate, destroy, eat or to use as a weapon (see pedagogy)
  • objective (n., adj.): dead, result of suicide, when one loses any interests or biases in life
  • objectivity (n.): (1) the state of being argumentative, or of objecting to everything; (2) a shrine where one worships objects (like nativity).
  • open syllabus (n.): (1) the best way for a graduate student to ensure their GPA will stay above a 3.0; (2) class ideology often times facilitated by the laziest professors
  • operationalize (v.): 1) what bad people do to perfect theories, 2) to cut alive body of a theory without anesthesia
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P ...

  • p-value (n.): 1) another term used in statistics for IQ (as in, we’re not getting an adequate effect size from your p value); 2) random drugs testing for graduate students (as in just take this cup and p in it!); see also caring; advisor)
  • peer-review journal (n.): 1) "I’ll look the other way, if you look the other way!" (as in "publish or perish"), 2) "If I’m a reviewer, you’re the fool! If you’re the reviewer, I’m a fool!" (see lens, objectivity) , 3) Originally from Latin, "pee-review journal"
  • pedagogy (n., v.): violent dislike of children (cf. pedophilia)
  • pedophilia (n., v.): violent love of children (cf. pedagogy)
  • Pedagoicus Interuptus (n) When the flow of a perfect lesson in interrupted by children asking intelligent questions.
  • Ph.D. (n., v., adj.): 1) abbreviation of "Piled higher and Deeper" (see also BS), 2) the day the caring ends (see advisor, graduate students, caring, mandatory) as in "He’s such a Ph.D. in my ass")
  • phonics (n.): it is not how it sounds (as in "being phony");
  • philosopher (n.): a psychologist without grant (see psychologist)
  • Piaget (n.): Piglet’s French cousin, as in "Piaget is my favorite character in ‘Winnie the Poux.’"
  • political correctness (PC, n.): the art of covering one's dirty ass with soft nice words;
  • pop (n.): the accepted and proper term for "soft-drinks", as in "I’m gonna go to the Pepsi machine and get a pop." (see also "soda")
  • positivism (n.): being happy (see also "post-positivism")
  • post-constructivism (n.): the love of things constructed with posts, like fences
  • post-doc (n.): a doctor who lost his or her medical practice due to malpractice
  • post-humous doc (n.): term for aging housewives who go back to school and die before the publication of their dissertations.
  • post-modernism (n.): dislike of new things in favor of things that do not exist yet (see also "modernism")
  • postmodern meditation (n.): watching the "status bar" until your computer program has updated or finished installation
  • post-positivism (n.): the state of coming down after being happy (see also "positivism")
  • post-racist (n., adj.): color-blinded
  • Post Sabbatical Stress Disorder, PSSD (n.): depression associated with the end of sabbatical that usually lasts from the beginning of the sabbatical to 6 years after the sabbatical (see also "sabbatical" and "quality teaching")
  • practice (n.): makes perfect
  • pregnancy (n.): 1) paperless publication through pleasure (and then pain), 2) female version of family commitment (see "family commitment), 3) it is not counted for tenure
  • pre-modernism (n.): dislike of new things in favor of old things that work well for you when you feel powerful
  • professional research productivity (n.): number of articles published in peer-reviewed journals (it's not funny!)
  • professional service (n., v.): see "hemorrhoid" and "meeting"
  • program extension (n.): extra time gives you extra pleasure
  • proposal (n.): a fairy tale for grants and other goodies (see grants, conferences)
  • psychologist (n.): a philosopher with grant (see philosopher)
  • public verification (n.): something that will get you arrested in conservative states like Indiana, as in "Cousin Earl went out drinkin’ and got thrown in jail for public verification again."
  • publication (n.): "I hate that about publishing... it's so damned PUBLIC" (see also "peer-review journal")
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Q ...

  • qualitative (adj.): really good, with lots of "quality", as in "Why can’t anybody in this country make a qualitative car anymore?"
  • quality (n.): high proportion of failure
  • quality of teaching (n.): 1) high rating of professor’s teaching by students whom the professor failed in the course, 2) a course that has a high number of students failed, 3) establishment of successful professor-students sadomasochistic relations (see also "caring")
  • quantitative (adj.): really big, with lots of "quantity", as in "I want to do a quantitative dissertation, because it will be bigger."
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R ...

  • racism (n.): 1) competative race of different social groups for social goodies, 2) convinient justification of why somebody is behind in getting social goodies -- they naturally deserve it
  • rationality (n.): not seeing differences among things (see irrationality)
  • realism (n.): the fear of imagination, goblins, and cartoons
  • reality (n.): the idea some “advanced” graduate students have that one must eventually make money after graduate school (see "tenured graduate student")
  • reflective practitioner (n.): one who can skillfully make his or her career on mistakes of others
  • regression (n.): grad student in 10th year of the program (cf. aggression)
  • reliability (n.): ability to convincingly lie over-and-over again
  • relativity (n.): an unusual fondness for relatives, especially cousins, common in Arkansas, West Virginia, and southern Indiana (see relativism)
  • relativism (n.): incest (see relativity)
  • research (v.): to look again, something you do after you "search", as in "I couldn’t find the dog, but mom told me to research so I’m going out again."
  • research interest (n.): 1) an ability to satisfy one’s curiosity for taxpayers’ expense, 2) an area of particular social dysfunctionality of the researcher (see academia)
  • research shows (n.): 1) wishful thinking, 2) wild guess
  • rigor (v.): I hardly even know her!
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S ...

  • sabbatical (n.): a temprorary tenure (see tenure)
  • sample size (n.): the amount of free stuff you bag at the supermarket on the weekend
  • scholarly (adj).: a sexually transmitted disease, or something like that (as in "is it scholarly done work?" "I’m itching to finish this scholarly paper")
  • science (n.): a galaxy far, far away, as in "may the force be with you!" (see empirical, empirical evidence)
  • sclerosis (n.): professional academic development (as in "Do you remember… -- Of course, not!")
  • self brownnosing (n., v.): a professor recommend his grad student to take his own course because the instructor is great. Positionally requring one's nose to be up one's butt.
  • serendipity (n.): the beginning of a well-known Disney song, as in "serendipity-do-dah" (the "seren-" is often left out because children have trouble pronouncing it)
  • sexual harassment (n.): distracting a professor from his important business (see situated cognition)
  • situated cognition (n.): thinking while on a toilet
  • social-constructivism (n.): a type of neurosis -- the need to talk with buildings
  • sociocultural (adj.): a well-established practice of finding free food at professional conferences
  • sociocultural theory (n.): "the more boring is the party, the more and better food it has"
  • soda (n.) (slang): a word made up by grad students from the eastern U.S. to make them feel special (see also "pop")
  • sociologist (n.): an anthropologist of everyday boring stuff (see anthropologist)
  • special education (n.): (1) the study of education that is special; (2) an unworthy area of specialization
  • statistics (n., French): also known as "sadistitics" -- the theories and teaching of Marquis de Sade (literally from French: "pain in the ass")
  • stupidity (n.): the evidence of intellect that appears in inapporpriate time and place
  • subject (n.): human object (see object)
  • subjectivity (n.): obsession with "subjects"—subjective people can start sentences, but can never finish them
  • syllabus (n.): another term for a professor (from the Latin for "silly boss" or "silly ass")
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T ...

  • teachability (n.): a student being drugged into submission to receive "instruction" (see guidance)
  • teaching (n.): service, like table waiting, but without tips
  • tenure (n., Latin): time to stop working
  • tenure-track (n.): 1) postponed gratification (see “tenure”), 2) a deeper kind of manure-tracks usually followed by old trotters in the field, as in "she has fell into a deep tenure-track."
  • tenured graduate student (n.): "One who has been in graduate school for 10 years (the usual maximum is 5 or 6): a "ten-yeared" student (get it?). Actually, this term may be used of any grad student beginning in his seventh year. Students don't really get tenure, of course, the way professors do, but a tenth-year graduate student has probably been around the university longer than any untenured professor." From Computer Dictionary Online (see reality).
  • theory (n.): something multiple people make up (see also "hypothesis" and "law")
  • theoretical framework (n.): 1) a form of mental illness, aka paranoid schizotheoreticus; defined as the mental patient's propensity to construct rules, via a delusional mental picture, of how the world operates, 2) daydreaming about framing pictures your bought long time ago that you are keeping unframed in your house for years during important professional meetings (see also "colloquia" and "meeting"). Related concepts: theoretical housework, theoretical relationships (see hermaphrodite).
  • TOEFL (n.): "Test of Education as a Foreign Language", a test given to normal people to see if they can have a conversation with a grad student or professor in Education (see also "coding")
  • traditional (n., adj.): 1) bad, like in "In many traditional schools, teachers spit on their students when the latter give wrong answers", 2) good, like in "In many traditional societies, elders never spit on children when the latter give wrong answers"
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U ...

  • unconditional reflex (n.): being permanently disgusted with academia (cf. conditional reflex)
  • undergraduate (adj.): Below any standard (example, "this is such undergraduate work"); (n., colloq): may also have the connotation of "soiled" (as in underpants)

V ...

  • values education (n.): like math, but with a greater focus on prices
  • Vygotsky (n.): 1) Bless you! 2) Translated from Russian it means, "We got skis!" (Vy-got-ski) Related Russian terms include, Ugotsky and Igotsky, which roughly translate as," You got skis!" and "I got skiis!" Terms normally used by skiing fanatic undergrads, as grad students are normally no longer funded by parents for weekend sojourns.
  • vocabulary (n.): a form of penis envy; grad students are sesquipedlians, as in, "mine is longer than yours!" (cf. effect size)

W .

  • Whole Language (n.): the use of complete sentences (not practiced by people with "subjectivity" or by people using PowerPoint)
  • Writing (n.): Do-it-yourself abdominal surgery. A game the whole school can play as in, "disembowel R Us."

X ...

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Y ...

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Z ...

  • Z-test (n.): Italian;
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