Achievement Goal Theory

The type of goal a student sets for a task; it can be focused on deep learning to material (mastery orientation) or on the student receiving a high score (performance orientation) 


An interactive social process where people make arguments through the use of claims and evidence to consider multiple viewpoints as they move towards more in-depth understandings.

Civic competencies

Civic competencies are abilities or knowledge that people need to engage in conversations and activities with other citizens in relation to their communities. Civic competencies are organized around three components: Civic Knowledge, Civic Skills, Civic Disposition (National American Educational Progress). 

Collaborative Social reasoning (CSR) 

A student-led small-group discussion approach designed to stimulate critical thinking and social skills through open and respectful discussions 

Collective Efficacy 

Collective efficacy refers to the idea that members of groups gain confidence in their peers and themselves in making important contributions to a shared task in the service of community goals. (e.g., a student feels comfortable asking their peers for input because they believe they are all authentically trying to achieve the same goal.  At the same time the student believes that their peers see them as a valuable member of the problem solving group). 

Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education (CRRE) 

A pedagogy designed to advance equity and social justice through valuing students’ cultures and identities with a curriculum built upon culturally relevant content and instruction 


A process that creates a common language between various subjects through continuous feedback loops leading to better understandings and interactions across complex systems (e.g., teacher and students develop shared meanings better suited to their goals through reciprocal interactions in which both teacher and students change their perspective). 

Deeper learning 

Meaningful learning (mastery), higher order skills (critical thinking, metacognition), interpersonal skills (collaboration) and learning how to be lifelong learners 

Dialogic instruction 

A dynamic, discussion-based pedagogy filled with student-student, student-teacher, and teacher-student interactions where shared, differing perspectives move the conversation forward as students work together to build knowledge 

Digital Citizenship 

Abilities, thinking, and actions related to Internet use, and enabling them to comprehend, navigate, engage in, participate, and effect transformations in themselves, communities, society, and the world (Choi, 2016)

Digital Civic Learning (DCL) 

A curriculum designed by a research team from The Ohio State University to improve students’ civic competencies and academic achievement in the physical and online world 

Digital tools 

Specific online technologies such as Google Classroom, Flipgrid, YouTube, etc 

Immersive Learning

An approach where students are provided with an engaging story tied to complex real-world social issues to guide learning and encourage emotional and sensory immersion into the characters’ narratives.  

Many-to-many communication 

Many people communicating to many people at once 

One-to-many communication 

One person communicating to many people at once 

Open and interactive discourse 

Discussions that do not have a predetermined answer or solution 

Participant observers 

Students do not “become” the people group they are studying (they are not “playing the role of others”, but rather students come alongside characters and peers in a shared narrative as they seek to understand their perspectives and come up with solutions to difficult, consequential problems. 

Social Perspective Taking (SPT) 

The ability to understand other’s thoughts and feelings  

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) 

The difference between what a child can do and what they might be able to do through joint problem-solving with individually versus what they can do with the guidance of a more capable mentor or new thinking that emerges through problem-solving interactions with a group of peers or adults.  The culmination of a zone of proximal development becomes the starting point (what a child can do) for their next zone of proximal development.  For example, when children learn to recognize the potential value of peers in problem solving that might become the beginning of using peer interactions to develop more advanced argumentation.