Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Doyle's School of Educharlantry

Trust me, I'm an expert in this--I have multiple degrees, have traveled multiple continents, play 17 instruments, and have the pedigree that rivals an AKC champion Pekingese. I speak 3 languages, dabble in a dozen more, and I can recite the alphabet in one burp.

I am a consultant.

Follow these simple rules and you, too, can lap up the slop lying in the public trough:
•Write self-published, self-referential manuals loaded with cute acronyms. Borrow from the best, and claim it as your own. Make stuff up! Worked for Ruby Payne. She sold over a million copies of her vanity manual A Framework for Understanding Poverty. If she cleared $3 per book, she's made enough money to feed Eritrea for a year.

•Looks. The paler the better. Get yourself a pair of northern European parents. Robert Marzano's professorial coiffure, Ruby Payne's blond hair and good teeth, and Grant Wiggins' distinguished goat beard have served each well. Beauty trumps truth.

•Creative math:  use the numbers available and make them dance to your premise. Worked for Marzano, might work for you.

•Rich friends: if Bill Gates or Eli Broad love you, you will be loved. Most of us lack enough pheromones to make a killing in the eduwonk field--greenbacks more than make up the difference.

Cojones Gonads.[Excuse my sexism.] It takes a lot of gamete production to push shite on the allegedly college-educated crowd we call teachers or educators, or whatever we're called these days..

•Testimonials and anecdotal stories--because nothing says research like cute stories. Bonus points for smiling kids of colors in the foreground.

If you want to be professional, act like one. Silence is unacceptable.

I don't need your support after the meeting. 
Telling me I said what everyone else is thinking after I get my ass handed to me on a platter does no good.

Join the fray, that's how democracy works. And shame the charlatans back to the ooze they came from.

Snake oil poster from Oregon state--I need to find the website....


robertogreco said...

"If you want to be professional, act like one. Silence is unacceptable."

Also, our students need to hear us speaking out. They will not learn to speak out if they have no examples. They will not think critically if the adults in their lives just nod and accept whatever slop is served.

Unknown said...

Perhaps I'm missing the context behind this post, but I cringed at the comment about self-published work being vanity work.

Perhaps I'm still a little raw after being told quite loudly by Gary Stager that I had stolen all my ideas in "Pencil Me In" from Seymour Papert. Sometimes things are self-published simply because they don't fit within the fray at all.

To me the bigger issue isn't self-publishing a book or doing consulting work (I've been asked to speak on occasion) or even borrowing ideas from one another (nothing is new under the sun).

The real issue is humility.

If I pretend to have all the answers, run like hell from me. It's the moment my ideas have become toxic.

doyle said...

Dear robertgreco,

I suspect what we do ultimately matters as much as what we "teach"--too many of us nod, eat the slop, then complain in the lounge.

Dear John,

Not all self-published is vanity work--Thomas Paine made a name for himself promoting his worldview of truth.

If you proclaim your work as "research" though, and you cannot find a peer-reviewed route to get your "research" out there, then spend a good chunk of your time promoting your own work, well, that's vanity.

I buy and read your stuff because it's good.

Gary is an interesting man, who loves the sound of his own voice (and the sound of anyone else's should they be talking about him). He keeps Papert's flame alive, a flame worth sharing, but does not worry so much about his tone.

I would worry too much how others take your words if I were you--I'm sure Christy keeps any vanity you might have in check.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Check the facts - join the fray. 2 good concepts.
My students ask why I am the only teacher to complain that they are not getting textbooks and there are 70+ in a classroom - can the other teachers not see, or do they not care? I tell them that I can only be responsible for my own ethics.
So I have been put into a computer lab for students who are "struggling". One of my students observed, "We are all here because there's something wrong with us." I said there's something wrong with everyone, we just happen to be more honest in our group. By the way, they're not struggling with logic...