Why Jargon In Education Is A Good Thing
I really love it when someone gives me a good reason to revisit existing default thinking that might be limiting my perspective.
As in the nearby scoop relating to the value of revisiting the literature that "was contemporary" but eventually overlooked as a few books became the standard canon-contributions from their day, this article really does clarify good reasons for educational jargon. Yet at the same time it also distinguishes "good jargon" from the kind of jargon that creates a backlash through "implication that someone is overstating something or soundig haughty,.."
We've all heard the supporters of political correctness point out such important issues as the connotative sexism of terms such as the use of "girls" for adult women or the judgmental "bum" for a homeless person who may have suffered financial ruin through no fault of his or her own.and the critics of political correctness who suggest that examples as such as replacing "janitor" with "Custodial Engineer" accomplish little other than pretetiousness.
Jargon as long been by default discouraged in many sectors as complicating communication among the masses.
But, pointing out that jargon within the group does serve to communicate much more clearly what one means or refining one's understanding in order to improve. An educational example being the use of "assess" to replace "give tests." The two terms are not synonyms. "Assess" generally is a measurement to discover appropriate next steps. Whereas to give a test suggests a concluding activity that simply identifies what was or wasn't learned well enough. And, generally does not suggest that this information provides guidelines for responsive next steps.
However, using language not common to those outside the group does run the risk of not being understood and thereby being resented.
The options are NOT to choose one term over the other and then to live with the consequences.
The article offers some interesting advise on how to bridge the communication needs between those within a group with a specialized vocabulary and those who are not within the group but who are important stakeholders nevertheless.
"Google Lit Trips" is the official business name of GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit