professornana (professornana) wrote,

  • Location:
  • Mood:

Expert Advice

This article on the death of expertise struck a deep chord within me: This paragraph in particular resonated:

"I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. "

There has been quite a bit of evidence within education. Arne Duncan ash Secretary of Education, David Coleman has the architect of CCSS, and most recently, the appointment of a home schooler to head the State Board of Education in Texas. Add in Campbell Brown and others leading a charge for more charters despite the evidence and the experts. Mix in Michelle Rhee, Teach for America, NBTQ reports, ads for test scorers from Craigslist.

"The death of expertise is a rejection not only of knowledge, but of the ways in which we gain knowledge and learn about things. "

It has become a situation where some experts are simply labeled as elitist, those who do not know how to fix something because they live in ivory towers. Not new, folks, since I can recall Spiro Agnew's label "effete snobs" to anyone who disagreed with his opinions and politics.

It has become a time in which folks feel free to say hateful things in comments sections, where attacks against an individual become personal instead of remaining professional. It is troublesome. While I would never claim to be THE expert, I do have some expertise when it comes to literacy. In part, it is because I have been in this field for so long and read so much research. I can go back a century and cite studies from each decade that underpin the classroom practices that experts use: reading aloud, choice, access, response, community.

I value expertise and experience. I wish those directing education did the same. As Nichols concludes:

"Experts come in many flavors. Education enables it, but practitioners in a field acquire expertise through experience; usually the combination of the two is the mark of a true expert in a field. But if you have neither education nor experience, you might want to consider exactly what it is you’re bringing to the argument."
Tags: experience, expertise
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.