I suppose I shouldn’t blog while down about the state of humanity. But I do many things I shouldn’t do.
I was just reading through some news reports of the continued misunderstanding of faculty on what Wikipedia is, how it works, and why it matters.
I doubt that you’d be able to get a teaching post somewhere without understanding how to do library research, or get tenure track position while confused about why endnotes mattered to an argument. You don’t get to teach science without understanding what the scientific method is. But you can walk into any college in the U.S. and demonstrate rank ignorance about the process underlying the most consulted reference work in the world, and you get to teach students, no problem.
My daughter was told at her high school — a top high school in the state — that students in college who consult Wikipedia in college (not plagiarize, not cite, but CONSULT) get kicked out. We’ve dealt with that; she goes to a new school now.
But the problem stands. On the most pressing issue of our age — how we advance knowledge in the world of the read/write web — it’s perfectly fine to be ignorant and teach. No one will stop you, no one will supply professional training to help you, no one will guide you, no one will correct you. We ask why these technologies, which have such potential to do such good, have not had the impact they might have. But in this case it is certainly a case of education holding us back.