I am looking for a plain English dictionary (or glossary) for terms in education.

My friend has stated a Math Education degree and is having trouble reading the material (e.g. the lecture slides), It is full of education jargon (e.g. constructivism, ) but these are defined in terms of more jargon so it is very difficult for her to make sense of the definitions. Furthermore, English is a second language for her. Even for me for whom English is my primary language, I have difficulty reading the slides and other material and making sense of them.

Does anyone know of a plain English dictionary or glossary of education terms that I could recommend to her. This would help her to learn the jargon.

thanks, Glenn

  • 2
    @scaaahu: I would not assume that "constructivism" in the sense of math education is the same as the constructivism you've linked to. In fact I doubt they're the same. (Rather: see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_(philosophy_of_education)) This really bolsters the OP's point: math education has its own jargon (or, less pejoratively, technical vocabulary). Mar 8, 2014 at 7:12
  • @PeteL.Clark Thanks for pointing it out. I deleted my comment in order not to mislead the OP.
    – Nobody
    Mar 8, 2014 at 7:31
  • Look for education terminology dictionaries, preferably for the state or other locale where she is. Here's one for Washington state. It even has constructivism!
    – mkennedy
    Jun 5, 2014 at 18:52
  • 1
    Since it deals with Math Education, you are welcome to ask it over at matheducators.stackexchange.com! =) Jun 6, 2014 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


In relation to Educational Terms, Kathlyn Griffith and Helen Kowalski have published a Dictionary of education terms.

While not the most ideal source Wikipedia have a Glossary of education related terms that may be of some help as well.

You can also view a copy of the Oxford Mathematics Dictionary at the link. While it's the concise edition (coming in at just under 900 pages!), it covers a lot of terms that you friend would encounter and has biographical information on famous Mathematicians as well. It appears that many of its explanations give short examples as well. The English is clear and as plain as can be expected from such a publication.

This Glossary link also has Maths terms searchable in alphabetical order.


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