• Eli Gottlieb

Please Don't Probe my Nexus

Educational jargon is getting way out of hand. The International Conference of the Learning Sciences is probably my favorite educational conference. It happens once every two years, attracts some really smart researchers, and is still small enough to allow for real conversation. When I opened the conference website to read the call for proposals, I found this description of the conference's aims:

Learning sciences research has sedulously ushered in evolving orthodoxy of assessment, pedagogy and designs of teaching and learning in diverse contexts. ICLS 2016 aims to bring together learning scientists to adjudicate various academic renditions of how people learn and institute further inquiry that encourages deep and probing examination of the nexus of instruction and learning as well as the roles of technology in educational practice.

I puzzled over these two sentences for several minutes, trying to translate them into English. Eventually I had to give up. I'm still not sure what precisely the authors were trying to say. (And I have to confess that to my uncultured ear "a deep and probing of examination of the nexus …" sounds more like a colonoscopy than a conference.) Why do researchers have to talk this way? For heaven's sake, why?!

For some thought-provoking examples and explanations of such tendencies, check out this book. It's academic, provocative and yet – clear!

#research #education #learningsciences #jargon #clearthinking #writing