Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, December 5, 2011

Education Jargon

Ever feel like you can't compete with those teaching colleagues of yours who can spin educational jargon like some of the best at the Gates Foundation or the Broad Foundation?

Well, here's the site for you.

It's an Education Jargon Generator that will help you to wow your friends and colleagues with the kind of amazing bullshit that usually only comes out of the mouths of people at PD meetings who are raking in six figure consultancy fees.

Try some of these phrases on for size and see if you can't get hired by the Education Trust or the Fordham Foundation:

disaggregate objective ESLR's

drive performance-based units

morph undefined curriculum integration

benchmark meaning-centered staff development

And those I got just from the first four hits on the generator!

I think this just might be the hit of the Christmas season for all your friends and colleagues - send them the link, let them start generating some bullshit and sound just like high-powered education reformers!

If you have people on your gift list who prefer to use simple language that, you know, actually means something, you might want to send them this list of suggestions for writing from George Orwell:

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

  1. What am I trying to say?
  2. What words will express it?
  3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

  1. Could I put it more shortly?
  2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?


I think the following rules will cover most cases:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Now I have to admit that I prefer the Orwell suggestions for writing over the education jargon.

Of course, using Orwell's suggestions at the latest PD meeting won't get you hired at any education reform think tanks or get you a Common Core curriculum consultancy job at the NYCDOE.

But it sure will keep a lot of bullshit from coming out of your mouth...and your ass.

1 comment:

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