Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ What It Takes to Be an Effective Public Scholar

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I'm not going to be on Frederick Hess's 2024 Edi-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, and it's OK, I'm not bothered by it a bit. But what does bother me is the idea that Hess would think his representation of "what it takes to be an effective public scholar" is in any sense correct. As I've often said in the past, list like these are not assessments of quality, they're marketing tools, a tool to lobby to behave in a certain way, prioritize certain functions, or say the right things. University ranking initiatives have been playing this game for years (at least, until they started pulling out of them). And in just that way, to get on Hess's list, you have to already be what Hess thinks is a good public scholar - probably from Stanford, Harvard or Columbia; affiliated with book publishers; and engaged with the (U.S.) education press (and therefore talking about the issues that matter to the press, like charter schools and culture wars). And, of course, selected by Hess & co.  to actually be a part of the rankings. Obviously I don't do any of that, and that's why I don't care whether I'm on Hess's list. You shouldn't care about Hess's list either.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 02:14 a.m.

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