"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, July 01, 2011

Alfie Kohn speaks out against academic jibberish

"… there are ways that researchers can maximize their impact on public policy. First, they can make more of an effort to publicize their findings and those of their colleagues … To communicate those findings, of course, requires that we speak and write in a language that is widely understood. Some scholars have slipped so far into the stylized talk – excuse me, discourse – of academia that important ideas are rendered virtually incomprehensible to most people. Because it sometimes seems that scholarship is valued by other academics in direct proportion to its inaccessibility, some individuals may have an instinctive aversion to writing in simple sentences even if they could remember how to do so. The reality is that we contribute usefully to a discussion about testing when we explain clearly why higher scores do not necessarily signal better learning. We do not contribute usefully when we ramble on to a general audience about point-biserial correlations – or, for that matter, about liberatory praxis."

(Aflie Kohn, 2003; Professors who profess. http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/professing.htm)

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