4.0532 Education and Writing (3/82)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 26 Sep 90 17:55:34 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0532. Wednesday, 26 Sep 1990.

(1) Date: Tue, 25 Sep 90 23:12:01 EDT (13 lines)
From: Frank Dane <FDANE@UGA>
Subject: Re: 4.0524 "Educationist"?

(2) Date: 26 Sep 90 11:05:54 EST (36 lines)
From: Peter D. Junger <pdj2@po.cwru.edu>
Subject: Educationists, Sociologists, and Turgidity

(3) Date: Wed, 26 Sep 90 10:17:12 MDT (33 lines)
From: Skip Knox <DUSKNOX@IDBSU>
Subject: Re: 4.0524 "Educationist"?

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 90 23:12:01 EDT
From: Frank Dane <FDANE@UGA>
Subject: Re: 4.0524 "Educationist"?

Have you considered "Professor of Education" or "Education Professor"?
According to my Websters (II, New Riverside), one who professes on
the topic of education, as opposed to educating others about topics
other than "how to teach," might best be called one or the other.

Frank Dane, "Psychology Professor," Mercer University

P.S. Any final responses to the left-hand/memory survey before I
begin crunching the data?
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------55----
Date: 26 Sep 90 11:05:54 EST
From: Peter D. Junger <pdj2@po.cwru.edu>
Subject: Educationists, Sociologists, and Turgidity

Roland Hutchinson's recent claim that "the field of education seems
actually to value poor writing as a distinguishing mark of serious
scholarship" puts me in mind of a similar claim--only about
sociology--that was made to me by Malcolm Cowley when I was staying at
his house in the mid-fifties. He insisted that he knew a young man, who
could write well, who had written a turgid, and unreadable, Ph.D.
dissertation in sociology; the young man's defense of his bad prose was
simple: he would not have gotten his degree if he had written clearly.
Cowley also claimed that David Riesman was a good example of a
sociologist who could write well, but didn't when writing sociology. (I
did not know it at the time, but Riesman started in law; he wrote one
quite well-known law review article before he went on to higher things.
The law review article reads like a law review article, viz., the prose
is pretty bad, but not nearly down to the level of sociology.)

Cowley also had a strong distaste for psychologists, not only because he
felt that they write like sociologists, but also because of their total
lack of aesthetic compunction, a lack that he felt was demonstrated by
their use of T.A.T (Thematic Aperception Test, I believe it is) cards,
little drawings that, I agree, no one should be forced to look at.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, Ohio



When I was growing up in Wyoming we always said octopods.
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------41----
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 90 10:17:12 MDT
From: Skip Knox <DUSKNOX@IDBSU>
Subject: Re: 4.0524 "Educationist"?

Hey ho! for Roland's broadside across the bows of the good ship
Education. Actually, I don't think that it's a ship at all; rather,
some people agreed once that there _ought_ to be a ship and have spent
the decades since then arguing over its shape and where it's going,
should it ever exist.

The disease of sloppy and inflated writing is not peculiar to the
displine of education, or even of educationalizing. Government, the
social sciences and other unfortunates turn the stuff out by the metric
ton. It's unfortunate that nonsense spews from public officials;
rhetorical skill was once a requirment of honorable public service.
But I should think that the folks in Education would take it as a point
of pride that they excel all others in clarity and grace in their
native tongue. Instead, language seems almost a matter of indifference.

Why? I dunno. But those who know better ought to raise their voice and
call the Educationeers to task. Let the professors of Education demand
educationality of their students. Let them insist not merely on
competency but on excellence. Let their students be an example in
turn to _their_ students and to the communities they serve.

What am I saying? Let the chuckling commence -- 'twill never be done.

Ellis 'Skip' Knox, Ph.D.
Historian, Data Center Associate
Boise State University DUSKNOX@IDBSU.IDBSU.EDU
Boise, Idaho 83725
(208) 385-1315