Thoughts on the journey so farPosted: December 15, 2016
The first month of this blog attracted nine hits. Back then, it was hard to imagine that it would eventually be viewed over 300,000 times. Yet I am also aware that this is pretty minor in the world of blogging. I’m niche.
The arguments that I construct here are based upon evidence. This evidence is contested and there is evidence to support views that are at odds with my own. Nevertheless, I am no conspiracy theorist or climate change denier. My views are based in pretty conventional research.
Which is why I find it so surprising that this is one of the few spots where you will read these ideas. I hesitate to use the term, but the ‘mainstream media’ seems to have a systematic bias towards ed tech and progressive teaching methods. The recent finding that inquiry learning had a negative association with PISA science scores was worse than ignored. In some instances, the papers offered inquiry learning as the solution to declining scores.
I do understand that the PISA finding is only a correlation. I am personally convinced by the cognitive science rather than one piece of survey data although I see it as a tentative confirmation and I wonder what would have happened if the result had been the other way around. But is this the reason the media ignored the story? Have they suddenly adopted What Works Clearinghouse standards of evidence that they don’t apply when writing breathless articles about mindfulness?
So that’s why I’m here, plugging away. There are a few of us around – our numbers are growing and I am keen to welcome you to the club.
But here’s some advice. There are people out there who don’t like bloggers. They threaten to report bloggers to their employers or anyone else they perceive as having the authority to shut bloggers down. Make sure that anything you write is defensible. Do not divulge confidential information. Distinguish between facts and opinion. Avoid personal attacks – the only personal comments I make are to highlight the behaviour of those who try to silence me.
Feel free to go after the ideas. Go after them with gusto. However you write, someone will take issue with your tone. Make your best attempt to be respectful but recognise that you will draw this kind of criticism. I don’t tend to respond to it much. It’s the ideas, stupid.
Most importantly, the internet is your space. If you have enjoyed spending some time in this little corner of it then you might be ready to carve one out of your own. Who knows, you may be the one to break through and take your thinking out into the mainstream.