Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Buzzwords and education

Diana Senechal on ”the utilitarian view of education”:

[I]n recent years it has overtaken education discourse. It can be attributed to the loss of a literary culture, the introduction of business language and models into education, and the resultant streamlining of language. Schools and industries have become less concerned with the possible meanings of words, their allusions and nuances, than with buzzwords that proclaimed to funders and inspectors that the approved things are being done — goal setting, “targeted” professional development, identification of “best practices,” and so forth. Thus we lose the means to question and criticize the narrow conceptions of success that have so much power in our lives.

Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012).
I should know better, but I am still surprised by how readily academic communities embrace buzzwords and platitudes. Everything, it seems, is subject to critical inquiry except the language that purports to define our purposes.

Also from Republic of Noise
“A little out of date”
Fighting distraction
Literature and reverence

comments: 1

The Arthurian said...

Every step in that direction (and the world is full of 'em) strikes me as another step in the direction of a new Dark Age.