Cut the Educational Jargon, Please!

jargon watch

A few weeks ago I helped a friend with a résumé and cover letter. She’s also required to submit a “Philsophy of Education,” so I looked at one she wrote a few years ago for an education course. She had received a good grade, but I told her to rewrite it. Why? Too much jargon! She needed more content, more specifics, and less airy fairy language.

This sparked a discussion about education courses and whether they were helpful to her as an instructor, how much, and how they could be more so. Her ideal is strong content knowledge first with small doses of educational workshops/courses while teaching with plenty of time to pursue content interests. While she doesn’t teach secondary, I think the premise still holds.

Teacher ed schools need to focus on helping teachers improve their teaching rather than trying to sound more academic by encouraging or even accepting the overuse of jargon. The prestige they seek will come from success rather than imitating other so-called soft sciences.

(See previous posts Lessons from Med School, Get Them into the Classroom)