Categories of article
Over the course of its first year (2012) I have published on this blog a series of substantive essays, each of which has tended to be between 3,000 and 10,000 words long, through which I have tried to build a coherent argument for a new approach to education technology.
In March 2013, fifteen months later, I realise that although many of these articles have been well received, most are rather too long for those who are not yet committed to give them their full attention. Nor is not possible for me to publish them with the regularity that is needed to build engagement in the blog-site. And although my 19 posts to date have attracted on average more than 10 comments each, it is not possible for a single person, expounding his views, to generate the level of multilateral debate that I think we require in this field.
I am therefore making a couple of changes to the way I organise the blog.
First, I would like to invite my readers to submit their own guest posts. Please see the criteria at xxxx for guidance on writing a guest post.
Second, I shall be distinguishing between my main “articles”, which will generally be 3,000 to 10,000 words; and shorter, “topical asides”, perhaps of 500 words. Each post will be distinguished by one of the following icons.
The etiquette of debate
I am keen to encourage debate on this blog and encourage people to challenge what they read, either through comments or through guest posts. If you wish to challenge an article elsewhere, please leave a comment on the relevant article with a link to the challenge.
I do not count it as offensive to disagree with other people and to argue your case robustly against them – on the contrary, I regard it as compliment to them to try and point out where you think they might have gone wrong.
What I do regard as offensive is
- to make ad hominem attacks on people;
- to question people’s motives;
- to assume that you are more expert than other people;
- to assert your views without providing justification;
- to fail to make a reasonable effort to respond to criticism;
- to fail to offer corrections for facts that you obviously get wrong.
I would ask contributors to try and avoid unnecessarily inflammatory language. But at the same time, what really matters is the intention to engage in honest debate and not the exact words that might be chosen to express a point of view. Participants should pay just as much attention to their responsibility not to take offense, as to their responsibility not to give it.
I must say that I am very impressed with the quality of articles appearing on this web, esp. the rebuttal of common misunderstandings of phronesis in educational circles. I have made some of the same points, but in much more long-winded and inaccessible ways, in:
Keep up the good work!
Many thanks for your kind words, Professor. May I ask you to resubmit the comment on one of the two blogs addressing the question of phronesis? It may help readers access the argument.
I am particularly pleased by what you say about accessibility. It strikes me that a major problem in education is that few teachers are familiar with these philosophical issues and so there is often a communication gap, making reasoned discussion difficult and leaving the field open to false prophets. I have spent a lot of time in the past writing long dissertations, which I know readers find difficult to digest.
I look forward to reading your own comments on phronesis. Thanks again. Crispin.