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Buzz Words and Bullshit

Posted By: Dick Schutz on October 12, 2005
Acosta barely scratches the surface of the buzz words and bullshit that pass for Professional Development these days. But a new lexicon needn’t be pie in the sky. The General Lexicon of, say a 6th grader or high school student, is adequate to communicate most aspects of el-hi schooling. Plain old ordinary StreetTalk largely suffices. But we are currently mutilating even StreetTalk. A few examples. Anything everything and nothing passes for a “program.” “Proficiency” is nothing but an arbitrary cut-off score on an arbitrary statistical scale. We drive fleets of trucks through the term “literacy” and pairing “literacy” and “coach” is a travesty.

Yes, we do need some technical terms. But they need to be operationally grounded constructs, rather than reified abstractions that purport to be “theory.”

What mystifies me is how teachers can sit there, knowing they’re being bullshitted, and passively go along with the act. I can think of a number of possible explanations, but none of the alternatives that occur to me reflect well on the profession.

Dick Schutz
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 Buzz Words and Bullshit by Dick Schutz on October 12, 2005
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