Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"Eduspeak" Reconsidered

Alfie Kohn, Nov 04, 2022

I think this is mostly a pretty good article about educational jargon, though I think Alfie Kohn has missed a big elephant in the room. Why is the use of education jargon so objectionable? he asks. "Sometimes the lingo itself can be off-putting, particularly if it consists of buzzwords that are imprecise, clichéd, or gratingly euphemistic.... we grumble when the tribalism shades into elitism, when the users of jargon seem to be advertising how important they are... Mostly, though, we react because we don't understand what the hell they're talking about." I think he's missed a really big possibility: that the speaker is using jargon to cover up the fact that they don't know what they're talking about. If the speaker actually understood the subject, they could explain it clearly, and if they can't explain it clearly, they don't really understand what they're talking about.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Nov 06, 2022 11:17 a.m.