The Dangers of Assumptive Teaching

John Connell, Weblog, Feb 02, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I read the piece in Britannica blog this morning and decided it was mostly fiction. But it is being blogged, so now I have to write about it, to minimize the damage. The author does not name the schools he described (they probably don't exist), does not show any causal connection between the problem (which appears to be an influx of black people) and the solution (failing them), does not show a successful implementation of the solution, has no statistical, analogical or qualitative evidence to back up his version of events, and links to a book (his own, naturally) that cannot be viewed online (and therefore, in my view, can't be that important). People should stop writing stuff like this; they do much more harm than good, and people who don't know better will blog it as though it's scientific research. Britannica should know much better than to publish it, but they seem intent on establishing their corner of the blogosphere as shrill mindless drivel. Seriously, now, they should smarten up.
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