Instruction is vital for education, as it is the transfer of learning from one person to another. Any time you are given directions or told how to do something you are receiving instruction.

The noun instruction is related to the word structure; both share the Latin root structus, "built." The use of the word as we know it today appeared in the early 15th century from the Old French. Today it refers to the action of teaching and the job of a teacher. It can also be used to denote the directions themselves. Consider the word's connection with structure: effective instruction is presented in an orderly, structured manner.

Definitions of instruction

n the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill

“our instruction was carefully programmed”
didactics, education, educational activity, pedagogy, teaching
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education of men and women in the same institutions
continuing education
a program of instruction designed primarily for adult students who participate part-time
class, course, course of instruction, course of study
education imparted in a series of lessons or meetings
elementary education
education in elementary subjects (reading and writing and arithmetic) provided to young students at a grade school
extension, extension service, university extension
an educational opportunity provided by colleges and universities to people who are not enrolled as regular students
extracurricular activity
educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum
higher education
education provided by a college or university
secondary education
education beyond the elementary grades; provided by a high school or college preparatory school
team teaching
a method of coordinated classroom teaching involving a team of teachers working together with a single group of students
work-study program
an educational plan in which students alternate between paid employment and formal study
adult education
a course (via lectures or correspondence) for adults who are not otherwise engaged in formal study
art class
a class in which you learn to draw or paint
childbirth-preparation class
a course that teaches pregnant women to use breathing and concentration and exercise techniques to use during labor
participation in theatrical productions as an extracurricular activity
participation in sports events as an extracurricular activity
correspondence course
a course offered (by mail) by a correspondence school
course of lectures
a series of lectures dealing with a subject
directed study
a course of study that is supervised and controlled by a specialist in the subject
elective, elective course
a course that the student can select from among alternatives
extension course
a course offered as part of an extension service
home study
a course of study carried out at home rather than in a classroom
industrial arts
a course in the methods of using tools and machinery as taught in secondary schools and technical schools
orientation, orientation course
a course introducing a new situation or environment
propaedeutic, propaedeutics
a course that provides an introduction to an art or science (or to more advanced study generally)
refresher, refresher course
a course that reviews and updates a topic for those who have not kept abreast of developments
required course
a course that all students are required to take
a course offered for a small group of advanced students
shop, shop class
a course of instruction in a trade (as carpentry or electricity)
a brief intensive course for a small group; emphasizes problem solving
Type of:
any specific behavior

n the profession of a teacher

pedagogy, teaching
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oral religious instruction (as before baptism or confirmation)
catechetical instruction
teaching religious principles by questions and answers
language teaching
teaching people to speak and understand a foreign language
teaching reading
teaching beginners to read
the act of teaching at school
teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically
tuition, tutelage, tutorship
teaching pupils individually (usually by a tutor hired privately)
a unit of instruction
hypnopedia, sleep-learning
teaching during sleep (as by using recordings to teach a foreign language to someone who is asleep)
teaching in an overly simplified way that discourages independent thought
lecture, lecturing
teaching by giving a discourse on some subject (typically to a class)
language lesson
a period of instruction learning a language
teaching reading by training beginners to associate letters with their sound values
whole-word method
teaching reading by training beginners to associate printed words with spoken words
forcible indoctrination into a new set of attitudes and beliefs
inculcation, ingraining, instilling
teaching or impressing upon the mind by frequent instruction or repetition
dance lesson
a lesson in dancing
music lesson
a lesson in performing music
tennis lesson
a lesson in playing tennis
golf lesson
a lesson in playing golf
the act of giving a talk to an audience
Type of:
the profession of teaching (especially at a school or college or university)

n a message describing how something is to be done

Robert's Rules of Order
a book of rules for presiding over a meeting; written by Henry M. Martin in 1876 and subsequently updated through many editions
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any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order
prescript, rule
prescribed guide for conduct or action
directions for the conduct of Christian church services (often printed in red in a prayer book)
incorrect directions or instructions
address, destination, name and address
written directions for finding some location; written on letters or packages that are to be delivered to that location
detailed stylistic instructions for typesetting something that is to be printed; manual markup is usually written on the copy (e.g. underlining words that are to be set in italics)
directions prescribed beforehand; the action of prescribing authoritative rules or directions
formula, recipe
directions for making something
directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted
stage direction
an instruction written as part of the script of a play
editorial directions to be followed in spelling and punctuation and capitalization and typographical display
system command
a computer user's instruction (not part of a program) that calls for action by the computer's executive program
a rule adopted by an organization in order to regulate its own affairs and the behavior of its members
an authoritative rule of conduct or procedure
order, parliamentary law, parliamentary procedure, rules of order
a body of rules followed by an assembly
rule of evidence
(law) a rule of law whereby any alleged matter of fact that is submitted for investigation at a judicial trial is established or disproved
Miranda rule
the rule that police (when interrogating you after an arrest) are obliged to warn you that anything you say may be used as evidence and to read you your constitutional rights (the right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent until advised by a lawyer)
precept, principle
rule of personal conduct
golden rule
any important rule
(computer science) a rule stating that the quality of the output is a function of the quality of the input; put garbage in and you get garbage out
an authoritative rule
ordinance, regulation
an authoritative rule
a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy
rules governing socially acceptable behavior
communications protocol, protocol
(computer science) rules determining the format and transmission of data
return address
the address of the sender of a letter or parcel indicating where it should be returned if it cannot be delivered
ground rule
(baseball) a special rule (as in baseball) dealing with situations that arise due to the nature of the playing grounds
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

n (computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program

command, program line, statement
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an instruction that interrupts the program being executed
command line
commands that a user types in order to run an application
(computing) an instruction that connects one part of a program or an element on a list to another program or list
macro, macro instruction
a single computer instruction that results in a series of instructions in machine language
system error
an instruction that is either not recognized by an operating system or is in violation of the procedural rules
any instruction that works first one way and then the other; it turns something on the first time it is used and then turns it off the next time
function call
a call that passes control to a subroutine; after the subroutine is executed control returns to the next instruction in main program
a link from a hypertext file to another location or file; typically activated by clicking on a highlighted word or icon at a particular location on the screen
supervisor call instruction, system call
an instruction that interrupts the program being executed and passes control to the supervisor
Type of:
code, computer code
(computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions

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