PolicyDirect: Educational Policy Research for Dummies?

Cross-posted from the Academe Blog:When I teach my technical-writing students about executive summaries, I tell them to imagine that their boss is either too dumb or too hurried to look carefully at the material behind the summary. They laugh, but they get the point: the boss (who is probably smart, actually, and a good judge … Continue reading PolicyDirect: Educational Policy Research for Dummies?

Research Without a Hero

Recently, I wrote about the astonishing (well, it should be astonishing) story of Herbert Mayes' "biography" of Horatio Alger, Alger: A Biography Without a Hero. So enamored was I that I searched Amazon.com for a copy of the book, finding a 1978 reprint with a new Introduction by Mayes himself and an Afterword by Jack … Continue reading Research Without a Hero

Research: When Is Enough Enough?

This morning, a post from Diane Ravitch's blog appeared in my mailbox. Titled "Accused of Sexism!," it tells a story of how an assumption of provenance can lead in peculiar directions.Ravitch had assumed from her own cursory look that the so-called "Parent Trigger" had originated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Where it came … Continue reading Research: When Is Enough Enough?

The Misuse of "Research" or Don’t Always Trust What You Read

I am always looking for new examples of sloppy research, of reliance on the first three Google hits, of the assumption that if something is in print (or online) it must be true. In Robert Leston's and my Beyond the Blogosphere: Information and Its Children, I use the example of Joy Masoff, author of Our … Continue reading The Misuse of "Research" or Don’t Always Trust What You Read

Using Blogs for Research and Writing in the Humanities

In their article "The Transformative Potential of Blogs for Research in Higher Education,"  Jana Bouwma-Gearhart and James Bess write:Blogging recognizes the message of social constructionism and the possibilities for new collaborative, real-time modes of information exchange that permit contributions from a vast number of potential expert collaborators from around the world. Blogging may allow for … Continue reading Using Blogs for Research and Writing in the Humanities

Assumption, Culture, and Resources

When I talk about language in my classes, and I usually do (after all, I'm an English professor), I generally manage to include a comment or two about the use of different language in different situations, sometimes called 'code switching' (though that's an inaccurate, or loose, use of the term).  One generally does not speak … Continue reading Assumption, Culture, and Resources

More Bogus Research

David Horowitz has begun a new series of articles he is calling “Indoctrination U.” with a “look” at the University of Colorado. As usual, he demonstrates that he hasn’t a clue what real primary (not to mention secondary) research really is and shows, paradoxically, just how much better American universities are than his own meager … Continue reading More Bogus Research