there a Translator in the Room?
Educational Jargon Leaves Many Parents in the Dark
For many parents talking to their child's school
administrators is a dreaded and intimidating process.
Why? Because many parents feel talked down to,
uninformed, or incompetent when the proliferation of
acronyms and abbreviations are spouted off by
administrators. The Ed-Speak phenomenon now finds
itself getting some unwanted attention as more and more
publications and researchers are uncovering the tendency
of some administrators to use these terms to deliberately
confuse parents. It's time for parents to turn the
lights on. Educate yourself and learn the
terminology. This page is dedicated to providing parents with links and
other resources to help you learn how to "Talk the
Hiding Behind Education Jargon
School Wise Press.com
When principals talk about their work to parents, they
utter buzzwords and acronyms that leave their public in the
dark. This "ed-speak" phenomenon is so prevalent, it should
be considered an occupational hazard.
Martin Mozloff, a sociologist from the University of
North Carolina-Wilmington, has studied the creep of ed-speak
in teacher training programs. He calls it "unmatched twaddle
... unbelievable bilge ... absolutely staggering nonsense."
An article in the August 16 issue of the Los Angeles
Times took aim at the perpetrators of what the reporter
called "a blizzard of buzzwords." Professor Mozloff argued
that ed-speak serves a deliberate purpose: "It allows
teachers and administrators to insulate themselves from
scrutiny and maintain a grip on power."
What are We Thinking?
What Are We Saying?
by John Holdren,
Director of Research and Communications, Core
from Common Knowledge,
Volume 8, No. 4, Fall 1995
Many parents say that they sometimes find
the jargon of education mystifying and intimidating.
When I stop and think about it, I have to agree with
Unlike scientific and legal jargon,
educational jargon often has no concrete referent: that
is, many of the words refer to no concrete thing or
specific action. Some terms — such as "holistic" or
"process-based" or "mastery learning" — have little more
apparent substance than the dust that blows from erasers
clapped together at the end of a school day.