One of my favourite EDUreads from the last 15 years or so is Larry Cuban’s How Scholars Trumped Teachers.
Larry is my kinda EDUscholar and EDUcator – a real “thunking doer” who tells it like it is and does not pull his punches where the LEARNing of others, especially our “kids”, is concerned.
He also has an amazing blog – Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice – and, if you ain’t checked it out, you just don’t know the EDUblogosphere.
Anyways, the book, written in 1999 (yes, we “oldies” actually read these paper-based thingies back in the day) describes the development of the American Academe over 1890-1990 – using Stanford as his “case study”.
OK, so he picks up that old chestnut of a question:
What is more important within the university – teaching or research?
But…his “answer” really hits the “spot” – and probably cost him a few “Academy pals”!
Most of us in EDUland know:
… don’t we?
Larry does! And, he basically “proves” that it is what academics are “trained” to do that has won out – again, and again, and again.
Not only in the States – all over the bloody globe!
What Larry also does is also help us “see” through the smoke n’ mirrors that have characterised the type of “changes” and “reforms” the Academe claims to have realised over the years…
It’s a good read! A VERY good read…
We TEACHers – knowing how much we have been “trumped” left, right and centre – have been known to get a bit miffed about this. We tend to work harder (with the “people” who “matter”), we put in more hours (planning for the people who matter) – and we take more crap from the parents of the people who matter…and journalists, politicians, wanabe EDUgurus, publishers – do I need to go on?
A lot of us see coventional higher LEARNing for what it is…and accept that…
We also know that the famed “holy trinity” that represents the “purpose” of the Academe – TEACHing, RESEARCH and PUBLIC SERVICE – basically, and in practice, “translate” into:
We also see that our universities can and do make some very serious “mistakes”:
Even…the best of them!
It is because of these, and that fact that we do focus so much of our energy on LEARNing the people that matter, that many of us also ask the question:
A fair question really!
Because…every one of us “knows” (in our heart-of-hearts) that…
I mean, would any university department seriously consider putting together a “research team” (on the back of a fat government grant) made up of people who had not been trained in research methodology, had limited experience of conducting field work or (God forbid) did not have clue about MLA citations.
That last one is quite interesting – and it now seems that we can even cite our tweets in MLA format. This little change is one tiny example of the “campus tsunami” everyone is banging on about these days…
The difference…is that TEACHers are ahead of the game, this time – and blogging is our secret weapon!
The WORLD has changed…
EDUcational THUNKing has changed…
LEARNers are changing…
LITERACY is being transformed…
SCHOLARship (and AUTHORship) are being assimilated…
Blogging is leading the charge with allthingsdemocratisation – and TEACHers have proven themselves to be the BORG of the blogosphere. Just take a look at the blogging figures – those groups of professionals out there actually using the blogoshere to get their voices “out there” – and inspire others to find their voices!
It used to be the case that we ran around our classrooms “exposing” ourselves to every Tom, Dick or Harriet who presented themselves to us…Now, we are sharing, reflecting…and ADAPTing on a global scale – the likes of which God has never seen!
Good for us…GOOD for our LEARNers!
And, it’s fair to ask, I thunk:
Where are all the SCHOLars?