Wednesday, January 01, 2014

7 most annoying ‘learning’ words of 2013


When Samuel Johnson wrote his famous Dictionary of the English Language in 1755, he included many tongue-in-cheek definitions of the newer terms of the day. Here’s a few tired terms I’ve culled from 2013. I’ve tried to keep my definitions to less than 30 words.
Leadership
Tries to make out that management is somehow heroic. It’s not. It’s just difficult. Usually taught by enthusiastic people who wing it, having never led anyone, anywhere on anything.
Talent management
Like leadership, talent management tries to turn something that is complex into the sale of expensive, enterprise software. Makes HR people think they’re all Svengalis or Simon Cowells.
Pedagogy
Means the ‘science of teaching’ but usually espoused as an excuse for not doing anything different. Often used by pedagogues who like to lecture, and hand out the occasional essay.
Homework
Teachers are not foremen in a factory, so why label something designed to open young minds as ‘work’? Get your work done. Have you handed your work in? Turns learning into a chore.
C- words
Education and training is obsessed with alliterative C-words; collaboration, communication, community…. Beware of slides where all words start with ‘C’, a sure sign they haven’t thought it through.

Learnings
Learners learn but the act of learning is not the same as a lesson, especially when used in the plural, as 'learnings'. (Thanks to Margaret E Ward).
Life coaching
Get a life, not a coach!
Conclusion
The language of learning is so often pompous, misguided or downright lazy. My last word is again from the great Samuel Johnson - "People have now-a-days got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can be best taught by lectures, except where experiments are to be shewn. You may teach chemistry by lectures:-- You might teach the making of shoes by lectures!"

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Norman Lamont said...

Not just 'learnings' but 'I just wanted to share the learns from this' . I hate it when I start a meeting feeling homicidal.

9:47 PM  

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