Tony Gurr

BLOGGING – the “secret weapon” that is (finally) helping TEACHers “trump” SCHOLars? (the RE-boot)…

In Adult Learners, Our Universities, The Paradigm Debate on 05/07/2013 at 8:39 am

big bad İSTANBUL

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Still doing a couple of bloggery RE-boots to celebrate reaching my 500,000th milestone

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This one took me totally by surprise and was one of the most popular posts of 2012. Initially posted at the end of May, it stayed on my list of top 10 “best-sellers” for over three monthsnot too shabby, when you realise that most blog posts these days have a shelf life of around 7 days…tops!

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In a way, this post is quite significant for me (as a bloggery LEARNer) as it was the first time that I started to use images to “tell my stories” – rather than just use graphics to “support” the thunks I wanted to get on “paper” (on “screen”).

Some people have told me that this makes my posts more difficult to read…but I find it also makes them more fun to write!

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Anyways, I hope you enjoy seeing it again…or seeing it for the first time!

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TRUMP card Ver 02

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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 well enough.

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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”.

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OK, so he picks up that old chestnut of a question:

What is more important within the university – TEACHing or RESEARCH?

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But…his “answer” really hits the “spot” – and probably cost him a few “Academy pals”!

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Most of us in EDUland know:

Karabell Paradox (Ver 02)

… don’t we?

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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!

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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…

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We TEACHers – knowing how much we have been trumped” (click this one) left, right and centre (yep, definition #02 is the one!) – have been known to get a bit miffed about this (…isn’t that Urban Dictionary just great)!

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?

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A lot of us see conventional higher LEARNing for what it is…and accept that…

Tradition and Bureaucracy (Moe quote) Ver 02

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We also know that the famed “holy trinity” that represents the “purpose” of the Academe – TEACHingRESEARCH and PUBLIC SERVICE – basically, and in practice, “translate” into:

Holy Trinity in HEd (Ver 02)

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We also see that our universities can and do make some very serious “mistakes”:

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Even…the best of them!

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It is because of these, and that fact that we do focus so much of our energy on LEARNing the people who matter, that many of us also ask the question:

Folk Wisdom (Schleicher quote) Ver 02

A fair question really!

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Because…every one of us “knows” (in our heart-of-hearts) that…

EXPERT Brain Ver 02

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I mean, would any university department shiriously consider putting together a “research team” (on the back of a big, fat government grant) made up of people who had not been trained in research methodology, had limited experience of conducting field work or (God forbiddid not have clue about MLA citations.

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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…

Bob Dylan (for the times they are a chagin) Ver 02

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The difference…is that TEACHers are ahead of the game, this time – and blogging is our secret weapon!

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The WORLD has changed…

EDUcational THUNKing has changed…

LEARNers are changing…

LITERACY is being transformed

SCHOLARship (and AUTHORship) are being assimilated…

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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 actually using the blogosphere to get their voices “out there” – and inspire others to find their voices!

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TEACHers rule…and are ROCKing the blogosphere!

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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 sharingreflecting…and ADAPTing on a global scale – the likes of which God has never seen!

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Good for us…GOOD for our LEARNers!

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And, it’s fair to ask, I thunk:

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Where are all the SCHOLars?

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POSTSCRIPT:

I did, in fact, do a couple of follow-up posts to this one.

But…and remember:

TELLıng theTRUTH (Ver 03)

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…neither of them really took off in the same way. Maybe, I tried to push a “neat idea” a little too farmaybe I got a little too self-indulgentmaybe they were just “crap”!

There’s a BLOGGERY lesson to be LEARNed in there…

Neyse, have a look at them…if you have 10 minutes to kill!

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Viva la rEVOLUTION!

(posted on 30/05/2012)

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I’m still STANDing…yeah, yeah, yeah!

(posted on 18/06/2012)

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  1. Times have changed indeed Tony!

    Yes, there are some amazing scholars who do participate online and write blogs, though I would still say the majority of scholars are too pressed to be writing and publishing in more traditional formats (i.e. journals). And there is nothing wrong with that.

    However it is time that further change occurs – practioners who share their experiences and learning are providing a lot of reflection and food for thought in regard to education. Their work is open and accessible to all. It is time for institutions to begin giving credit for this type of work as well.

    Until then, change will continue only being a trickle instead of a flowing river.

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