Position Statement

And so to a new year. I thought it was time to restate my intentions with this blog. The fat of the holiday season certainly needs a little mustard to cut it and I hope, to my readers, that I might provide that.

First to the fat. The meta-debate really isn’t worth time and attention. We have the now familiar scene of prominent bloggers complaining about those they view as rude or abrupt or who have the wrong tone. This is the way of absurdity. Here lie Tweeters with long track records of critically quoting other people’s tweets who have a dig at people who critically quote other people’s tweets. Here lie bloggers who write blogs about the pointlessness of debate before initiating debates about knowledge organisers.

I am sure that every powerful group throughout history has found dissidents to be rude and abrupt. I suspect this is at least one of the reasons why Vlad the Impaler picked up a stake or two. So it tells us little, if nothing at all.

But my take is not the opposite. That would be poor indeed. I don’t seek debate as an end. So what am I trying to do?

First and foremost, my aim is to put stuff out there that you otherwise might not read about. Do you recall all those newspaper articles about the PISA findings on enquiry-learning? No. And that’s why I’m here. I like to tell myself that I provide you with stuff to make you think and, perhaps, to arm you to some extent against the nonsense.

In The Neverending Story it was The Nothing. In education it is The Nonsense.

My second aim is to participate in a discussion. You might call this a debate but I’m certainly not under the impression that I ever convince anyone of anything. That’s not the point. Instead, by engaging in a challenging discussion, the profession may edge ever closer to the truth. It might not be me that sees it but I may contribute to its crafting.

Because there is a truth. There are better and worse curriculums. There are better and worse teaching methods. I can’t claim to know what these are but I’m doing my best to help work it out.

So here’s to that. Ignore the fat and focus on the substance.

That’s what I’ll be doing.

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7 Comments on “Position Statement”

  1. David F says:

    Hi Greg—thanks for this….it’s strange how many educationalists and their constructivist followers treat those of us supporting evidence-based practices as if we’re climate change deniers…

  2. Tunya Audain says:

    The Responsibilities Of Teaching

    I dispute and object to teaching being called a “profession”. Teaching is teaching. Some say it’s a “calling”. Some can teach and some can’t.

    I’m reminded of the few, very few, teachers — maybe 1 in 200 — who, when talking about their love of and dedication to teaching will mention their awareness of the biblical injunction in James 3:1 — Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

    I like Greg Ashman’s devotion to teaching and really appreciate his dissemination of useful research and insights. I think they do help in keeping the vocation of teaching on its toes. Look forward to more via this blog and reports about progress in the field in 2017. Thanks, Greg.

    My critique comes from a long history of involvement. First: I attained a teaching certificate a long time ago from a teacher’s college, which I thought was a prerequisite if I was to teach my own children. Not required. Also — poor preparation if I was ever to be in charge of a classroom. Second: My main interest always was with the parental responsibility in education. I worked to promote home education and parent rights in education. I soon realized, after much evidence, that the field was predominantly a self- serving industry. Even some teachers were dismayed that children’s interests were not the foremost priority. Third: I now see the need for greater choices for both parents and teachers. As a grandmother I see that today’s children cannot be well served by the one-size-fits-all style of the past.

  3. KenS says:

    “First and foremost, my aim is to put stuff out there that you otherwise might not read about.”

    You’ve definitely done that for me. Thanks. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  4. Rufus says:

    You’ve helped to change my mind about a number of things, so thank you.

  5. Thanks for your contribution to my reading list. Some challenging points, some I’ve not quite understood and some I’ve disagreed with.

    Thanks for the educational signposts.


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