Wednesday, February 18, 2009

School of Communications Needs Editor

If you're going to set yourself up as a magnet school for communications, as 75 Calhoun has encouraged Chicora Elementary in North Charleston to do, you need to employ someone who writes well--writing well is an essential component of communication, isn't it?

Therefore, reading the PDF for Chicora School of Communications (partial magnet) found on the Charleston County School District's website left me in a state of dismay:
Chicora students will be able to:

• Effectively use diverse forms of communication

• Use critical and higher order thinking skills to deliver engaging presentation to inform, persuade and solve problems

• Write proficiently in different genres

• Work cooperatively and exhibit self esteem and pride to communicate utilizing different media

• Effectively apply technology

Every teacher has seen a similar format of curriculum goals, and I will be the first to admit that most of the copy above is adequate; however, some of it is just plain wrong:
  • "deliver engaging presentation"? Surely the writer meant to use the plural form. You may see this error as a minor cavil, but remember what the purpose of the curriculum is!
  • "presentation to inform, persuade and solve problems"? Where to begin: inform problems? persuade problems? Mindless repetition is the culprit here.
  • "exhibit self esteem and pride"? How, pray tell, will this goal be measured?
  • "to communicate utilizing different media"? The speaker will inform us how to utilize different media?
I'm afraid what we have here is eduspeak. Let's hope that's not what Chicora will teach.

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