Understanding Educational Jargon
© Beverley Paine
Yesterday I read part of the Level 1 Victorian Essential Learning Standards, a .pdf document that I had downloaded a couple of years ago. I've always made a point of reading school curricula – it helps to know what schools are thinking about how learning happens. I'm not overly impressed by this document, but I was heartened to see the glossary – always a good idea in any document of
this nature. As a fun exercise I went through the glossary and translated the jargon.
Jargon is all around us. The jargon we are most exposed to and probably notice the least is the jargon of advertising. It is always a interesting and
awareness-raising exercise to identify and translate advertising jargon with children, especially during the ad breaks while watching television. Analysing the words used in magazine or newspaper advertising, and then looking for these in the news items, is another way to see how our thoughts, actions and beliefs are cleverly manipulated by the media.
- product: output of human activity in form of an artefact
- technological product: artefact created to meet an identified need or want
- sensory perception: seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, smelling...
that is, experiencing life via the senses
- technological process/technique: human activity (eg cutting, digging, shaping, usually carried out using tools)
- skills, techniques and processes: ways and methods of using and
handling just about anything
- manipulate: handle
- realise ideas/goals/effects/outcomes: achieve
- outcome: result, usually expressed as a desired result (goal)
- objective: what we hope to achieve
- range of processes: use various methods
- document: write, tape, film, take photos, etc what happened
- multimedia resources: anything that includes words, images and sound; eg DVDs, internet, computer programs
- media: can be anything one uses to create something as well as the way information is conveyed to others. Arts media - paper, canvas, paints, body (eg dance), clay, etc. Information media - books, television, internet, newspapers, etc.
- investigations: opportunity to think up and ask questions and then
work out ways to answer them
- materials: anything that can be used to make into something else
- information product: something that tells/shows others what you know
using computerised technology
- graphic/visual organiser: a way of showing on paper how different
parts relate to each other or link together - map, flowchart, graph,
- design brief: a statement that tells why, how, where, when and just
about anything else that is necessary to help solve a problem.
- design: a map that shows how we transform ideas into action and
See Beverley's other articles on jargon:
She also has a Practical Homeschooling Series booklet on the subject, called Translating Everyday Language into Educational Jargon.
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