best practice....hmmm...

I've long been bugged by jargon (special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand) generally and in education specifically.  We as educators do a terrible job of using the right words for the right audience, of ensuring we personally actually understand what we are saying.  On top of this our sector is really, really good at generating catch phrases that all too quickly become part of the the education lexicon.

Falling into this category is the phrase 'best practice'.  I've often wondered who is it that has the right to determine what is best practice.  I recently was drawn to an article shared by @robclarke and re-shared by @helenahern on G+.

...common knowledge management focus on best practice is in effect contrary to natural practice; an attempt to impose an idealistic structured process onto the natural activity of learning and knowledge transfer through a focus on efficiency at the cost of effectiveness.
The adoption of best practice implies that:

1. there is a best way to do something,
2. we can identify and codify what that thing is,
3. we can then get employees to follow best practice,
4. and that it is desirable that they should do so.
— David J Snowden

Writing this piece above reminded my of a funny and all too true post from @GeoMouldey on this general topic of buzz words.  The essential point is we must be clear on what we're trying to communicate.  The foundation of communication is clarity, otherwise why are we doing it.

Yes, some things can be codified and therefore held up as best practice.  Equally in reality what one person might call best practice, could equally be called, based on my experience, thinking and research this is an effective way of practice for me.  Which does naturally lead to this question, so how do we move forward in some coherent way?  That is a post for another time.

Just a thought...

No parents allowed at sports games...

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