Words I don’t like: delivery (in an educational context)

Delivery: The action of handing over, or conveying into the hands of another; esp. the action of a carrier in delivering letters or goods entrusted to him for conveyance to a person at a distance (OED).

I know that I am not alone in my dislike of the word ‘Delivery’ in an educational development context. Delivery requires no knowledge of what is being delivered on the part of the deliverer. As a schoolboy I had a part-time job delivering newspapers. I would go down to local newsagents, he would give me the newspapers and a list and I would deliver the right newspaper the to right house. There were some basic skills or course — I needed to know how to read the list, know where I was going and have the ability to ride my bike around my route. However, I required no knowledge of the media industry or the events being written about in the newsletter. At no point was I asked my for my opinion on world events. My job was to carry a physical object (a newspaper) from one geographical location (newsagent) to another (the customer’s house).

I refuse to therefore to suggest that I deliver ‘training’, ‘development’, ‘a/ the curriculum’, CPD, courses etc. To deliver means to hand over a product from one party to another – a teacher/ lecturer/ educational developer needs to understand the content, be able to answer questions about the content and know the content well.


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