Another dot in the blogosphere?

No pain, no gain

Posted on: December 10, 2014

How seriously would you take an article titled 20 Baby Names Proved To Belong To The Most ‘Naughty’ Children (sic)?

The article could be used in an introductory research methodologies class on how NOT to collect data and report research.

It could also be used in a journalism class to illustrate how to appeal to base human intellect. Judging from the 1.4 million likes on Facebook and 2000 comments, people take the possible correlation of names and behavior seriously.

The article appeals but it does not raise the bar of critical thinking. It informs but it does not educate.

No pain, No gain by moostive, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  moostive 

Over the last few years, I have noticed far too many education or educational technology blogs that do the same thing. They highlight the cool but perpetuate old ideas. The generate buzz but do not encourage critical conversation.

People would rather feel good about themselves instead of learning how to be better. Teachers would rather read and tweet maxims than learn that they are wrong about homework, learning styles, or digital natives.

People would rather believe poorly conducted research (like the baby names) because it already supports what they believe in. They reject evidence to the contrary because it makes them uncomfortable.

Being uncomfortable is the first step to learning. We learnt that when we tried walking when we were babies. Learning is trying, failing, and feeling the pain. No pain, no gain.

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1 Response to "No pain, no gain"

Just because you like something doesn’t mean you take it seriously. I liked that article, and passed it on, because the top 3 names in each list are ring true for our Year 9 cohort at the moment.

But… To take it seriously? As research? No. I take it about as seriously as I take a horoscope. It rings true, you can relate to it, but you know it’s a horoscope, not policy-informing, data-based guidance. That said, I have been known to buy a lotto ticket based on my horoscope, and I will never name my child “Ella”.


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