Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I want Alfie Kohn's job

I heard Alfie Kohn on the radio today, plugging his new book The Homework Myth. He is moving alongside Malcolm Gladwell as one of those freelance writer/thinkers who is doing wonderful intellectual work, just examining the published results of others and asking really interesting questions. By "interesting questions," I mean those questions that seem ludicrously obvious in retrospect, like "does homework improve school performance?"

One of the things that lets Kohn do this sort of thing is that he's operating outside the System. He can afford to be a lot more critical of the educational establishment because he's not one of them. I did notice the caginess on his website about his credentials; obviously lots of people who disagree with him are eager to say, "See! See! No PhD! He can't possibly have anything worthwhile to say!" I'm thrilled to see another intellectual succeeding in getting his message out without having to play the game . . . and a little saddened to see that even eleven books is still not enough for him to get completely past the whole credentials thing.



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