I always hated the word outcome. I figured educators used words like outcome to erase logical connections between causes and effects or even means and ends. I thought calling something an outcome was a way to shirk responsibility. Aaron tells Moses the golden calf is a mere “outcome” of the gold and the fire. Outcomes eclipse agents. Outcomes appear, just “come out” on their own, like rabbits out of hats–magically–in the white gloved hands of educators.

Apparently, I was wrong. It’s much worse than that. According to the OED‘s definition, outcomes, in the context of education in the U.S., are proper social attitudes cultivated in the minds of children.

“Bosh,” you say. “That sounds like nothing but brainwashing!”



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