Transparency is a four-syllable word that seems to get a lot of people shaken up when they hear it. It comes in all different forms depending on your discipline and can either make you or break you.

Within education, transparency is often seen as a good thing; often remarked as well intended, empowering for the public, and proactive to the institution itself. As much of a double-edged sword transparency creates in its process of unraveling the politics, biases, and prejudices away from something, in the end, transparency only strives for positivity and good. It only seeks to show the real people the real facts with real numbers, figures, words, and anything else.

Transparency does not just exist within data; it exists in just about every other capacity imaginable. Interpersonal transparency is one thing that I pride myself in having. I am for the most part an “open book”. This does not mean that I go around spewing my life story, but I respect the impact its had on me and wish to share it with others. Generally, any question someone asks, I answer honestly. What continues to frustrate me is the lack of reciprocality that other people have when it comes to being transparent in any dimension.

There generally should be a transparency that exists within dichotomous pairs. This means that teacher and student, employer-employee, partner-partner, parent-child, and any other pair you can think of should have some level of transparency rooted within the foundations and boundaries of their system of interactions. Without transparency comes a lack of closure, a lack of support, and depending on the relationship a sense of abandonment. No one wants to feel like their view of the world is no longer clear. Transparency provides integration of hierarchical structures that generally would not exist. Transparency provides people comfort, dependability, and a way to hold themselves and others to a greater standard.

Without transparency, the meaning of conversations we have today could mean nothing tomorrow. Transparency ensures a foundation of dependable communication that exists among people. Not only is a lack of transparency (especially in times of transition) not beneficial for the groups undergoing the transition, but it also affects already existing relationships. Transparency. Prety-straightforward. Use it.


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