Blog on Blog #2

What is our responsibility as bloggers?

I’m reading a few blogs now, ranging from very brief reflections on classroom practice to academic papers that just happen to be posted on a blog. I hope that my own humble offering sits somewhere in between. My question is, how much responsibility to we have to cite sources or to base what we write on research?

My lovely sister is a naturopath*. She’s very careful to only work with treatments that are supported by serious scientific data. So, for example, she won’t touch homeopathy. There is no hard evidence for its effectiveness, so why use it? I’m sure her job is made harder by people who have read blogs that happily state that dipping your nose in a bucket of cat’s urine is a sure-fire cure for warts with no evidence or liability for the ill-effects of cat’s wee up the nostrils.

I like to think that I’m a professional. So, what is my responsibility here? I don’t think that everything I write should have to be peer-reviewed and backed up with hard data, but nor do I think that I should be able to bang out blatant untruths without regard to the possible consequences.

So where’s the line? What lines do you have for your own blogging?


* I have two sisters. They’re both lovely.


2 thoughts on “Blog on Blog #2

  1. I think that we have an ethical requirement to recognise where our ideas come from. However, I do not feel that it needs to be empirical. Take for example my post on 1:1 I could have done a research project on this. Surveyed every school in … However not only would that not have been timely, but it may have missed the point. As long as you don’t go saying that you represent ‘Global Education Reform United’ which is just a swanky title for your opinions then it is ok. I think being subjective allows you to say things and start conversations about whether your perspective is different and really I’d hope that is what it is all about? Then again, maybe I’m over thinking things? I am happy if someone want to take apart my post on ‘Digital Revolutions’ but no one has. Although some simply refuse to engage with it because it is subjective. There lose, not mine.

    1. I think you’re dead right here, Aaron. I’m a bit torn. I love that people are doing serious research into what works in the classroom. It really gives us something to work with when we look to improve our practice. However, I also feel that what works in the classroom is so variable that any contribution to the conversation is valuable, no matter how subjective it is. I would hate to get to the point at which we don’t do anything in the classroom that isn’t based on serious quantitative research, but I also have issues with teachers who sneer at academics and academic research and insist that nobody can tell them how to improve their work. As always, the middle ground seems pretty good to me.

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