Cover image for The Greenwood dictionary of education
The Greenwood dictionary of education
Collins, John William, 1948-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiii, 431 pages ; 27 cm
General Note:
"An Oryx book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LB15 .G68 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The first of its kind since the 1980s, this book provides authoritative definitions for more than 2,600 terms that apply to educational research, practice, and theory. The overall focus is on the most critical terms in education as used by current practitioners, yet references to significant historical events in education are also included.

Each of the definitions is 25-250 words and has been written by a knowledgeable practitioner or researcher in the field. Included are acronyms and initialisms commonly used in the field, names and descriptions of relevant organizations, and important legal decisions relating to education. An extensive bibliography provides useful sources for further research. This reference work will be valuable for professionals in the K-12 setting, students of education, and educators and researchers in colleges of education. Librarians at academic, public, and school libraries will find the dictionary immensely useful in interpreting education terminology.

Author Notes

JOHN W. COLLINS III is Librarian of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a member of the Faculty of Education. He directs the Monroe C. Gutman Library, which maintains significant collections in the field of education and provides a full range of research support services to the scholarly community. Collins is a specialist in information technology and serves on a number of national boards and task forces. He recently completed work designing a new National Library of Education and is currently consulting with the U.S. Department of Education in developing and implementing the National Education Network.

NANCY PATRICIA O'BRIEN is Head of the Education and Social Science Library at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Professor of Library Administration. She was named the Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian in 1997 by the Association of College and Research Libraries. She served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Education Network, the outreach arm of the National Library of Education, from 1998 to 2002. In addition to her latest book, Education: A Guide to Reference and Information Sources, second edition (Libraries Unlimited, 2000), Professor O'Brien has written articles and presented papers on the history, organization, management, and preservation of education and testing resources in libraries.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Both editors of this comprehensive resource for educational terminology-the first of its kind in more than 20 years-are well known and respected professionals in the fields of library science and education: Collins is librarian of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of the Monroe C. Gutman Library, while O'Brien is Head of Education and the Social Science Library at the University of Illinois and professor of library administration. Since the scope of this reference is so large, the editors asked other experts in various fields of education (e.g., early childhood education, curriculum, adult education, and language acquisition) to write definitions for the volume's 2600 terms, which are used in education research, practice, and theory. Running from 25 to 250 words in length, these definitions reflect current use, but the dictionary does include entries for significant historical events. It also contains all the features expected of a well-conceived reference resource: information on how to use the volume, an alphabetical arrangement of entries, cross references, a bibliography of sources, lists of contributing editors and contributors arranged by field, and a list of contributors arranged by initials (so that users can identify entry authors). One hopes that the editors will continue updating this monumental reference regularly since everyone from educators to students of education to lay readers will find it useful. No library, whether public or academic, should be without this reference source.-Mark Alan Williams, Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Librarians Collins and O'Brien provide "the first comprehensive dictionary of education" since publication of Carter Victor Good's Dictionary of Education (3rd ed., CH, Oct'73). More than 2,600 terms, arranged alphabetically with cross-references, supply insightful contemporary definitions as they apply to educational research, practice, and theory. Although the editors focus on contemporary terminology, some terms that relate to the history and foundations of education are included. Each definition is signed with initials. The roster of contributors at the end of the work includes scholars, administrators, teachers, practitioners, graduate students, and others outstanding in their fields. Contributing editors coordinated the gathering of information in 25 topical areas. The extensive bibliography cites more than 800 books, journal articles, dictionaries, encyclopedias, technical reports, and Web sites. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections. S. Dupree University of Arkansas at Monticello