Nov 1, 2019

Terminology Matters > Divisions and Retreats


I think that terminology matters. The words we use to describe something play an important role in creating meaning and assigning context. And, sometimes, we use terms that we think may mean one thing but actually assign context in unintended ways.

Why do we use the word “divisions” to describe units or departments in education? Is it any wonder why consumers find educational institutions operating in silos with limited integration? I am pretty certain that the use of this word does not help our cause.

And, why do we call our off-site planning events “retreats”, as if we are moving away from our mission? Perhaps we would be better served to call these events staff or annual “advances”, adding some forward motion to our work.

We use strange language in education that does not shape positive perception. Let’s find a way to use stronger, more effective terminology in the future. We might find it assigns a different context to our work, too.

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