"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, February 22, 2016

In Education Policy, Language Abuse Begets Child Abuse


 by Susan Ohanian

I know better than to read wedding announcements in the New York Times but when an e-mail teaser identified the groom as  “a principal consultant to the education industry for Infinitive, a management consultancy specializing in digital marketing, ” I decided to take a look at what  these guys do.

At their website, I encountered language more curdled than month-old milk. Here’s a sample:

Get in the know and keep current with big-picture thinking and actionable insights.

And it gets worse.

                  Customer Intelligence. Activated

Today’s consumers expect businesses to engage with them seamlessly and personally, across an ever-evolving ecosystem of human and digital touch points. Companies seeking to improve their delivery of such omni-channel customer experiences must optimize the ways in which they manage and leverage first, second and third-party customer information. Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Customer Officers who master this domain make it possible to engage customers with tailored messages delivered in a timely fashion through the most relevant channels.

 Indeed: And here's how they activate intelligence.

  • ·         ever-evolving ecosystem of human and digital touch points
  • ·         omni-channel customer experiences
  • ·         optimize the ways
  • ·         manage and leverage information

Certainly, we wouldn't buy a used car from someone who talks this way, but collectively, more and more people in our profession seem willing to cede decision-making for what goes on in our classrooms to them. I think we must take back our language so that we can take back our classrooms.

1 comment:

  1. Susan, you've picked up the same question emily Talmage and some allies are tracking down right now.

    We're tracking who plants the false narratives and deceptive jargon that occur repetitiously in the drive to impose digital learning systems on public education. Who tells these stories? We've hit a motherlode here. "A Hands-On Approach to Talking Learning and Digital Media"

    "FrameWorks researchers documented how people think about digital
    media and learning (DML), identified where this thinking diverges from that of experts in the
    field, determined how these patterns in thinking influence the public’s policy support for
    pedagogical reforms, explored new ways of framing the issue that fill explanatory holes in
    public thinking, and developed a new evidence-based narrative that demonstrates strong
    potential for bringing the public on board with digital media’s affordances for learning."