Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CCSD's Herring Needs to Skip Jargon to Communicate

Here's a bingo game teachers enjoy as they sit through hours of boring in-services. It comes in many versions, but all have a serious underlying message. Jargon in any field makes one professional sound knowledgeable to another, but often those same terms inadvertently impress audiences with the idea that the speaker is talking down. Such is the case with Dr. Lisa Herring's recent op-ed on "personalized learning." She responded to an article in which some teachers and parents worried about overuse of iPads in the early grades.

Nothing in Herring's essay will alleviate the concerns of those parents and teachers, since she intimates that she needs to explain "personalized learning" to them. Evidently, she does not consider their worries part of her desired "feedback from critical thought partners," although they seem to fall into the categories she names as "stakeholders."

"Building 21st century skills" for "today's global economy," Herring suggests, must cause these critical thinkers to "step outside of [their] comfort zone." She's not stepping out of hers.

Too many educational "fixes" have flopped for "stakeholders" to accept that professionals always know best.

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