Under the guise of Informing you and I – they are really selling you and I.
Or attempting to.
This isn’t new. It was true when I entered the field in 1979. There are absolutes spoken of as if they were absolutes – and there are untruths parading around as truths – and like the 3 sirens of Greek Mythology – they have tempted many to the rocks – and their destruction – with their bewitching songs.
The Wisdom of the Crowds is in dispute. It is treated as an absolute – as if we shouldn’t heed the famous words of Ronald Reagan to: Trust, but Verify. Even that which comes from our crowd. Especially for some of our Crowds. You do have more than one Crowd, one source, one “go-to group” – don’t you?
And then where do you go and how do you do it – the Verify thing?
I am very lucky – that after 32 years of membership and participation – I have several Crowds – but my “go-to group” is a group of folks from ISPI – many going back to the days of NSPI – about 80 in number – that are part of a Google Group – where issues come up and are addressed by several in the group who “Know the Research” and can cite it off the tops of their heads – or the tips of their fingers as they quickly respond to questions posed by me and others. And even they don’t always agree.
What can you do? What should you do?
Find good sources. Check their backgrounds. Check out past positions. Did they ever promote Learning Styles? Where do they sit on MBTI? Do they believe that Multi-Generational Differences need to be accounted for in designing any aspect of Learning/Training? Is everything they are about all new, current and hip? Shiny? If so – then beware.
Easier said than done – I am afraid.
The bigger your Crowd – the more likely some Foo Foo enters the ring. The more polite your Crowd the less likely they are to challenge any Foo Foo that enters that world. The less steeped in the Research, the less that they tend to be somewhat skeptical of “the shiny new things,” the less that you heard them/read from them about their un-acceptance of some of the myths, the harder that they resist the data that challenges some myths that have taken hold – the more likely that they too are a Siren – with their bewitching song.
And given that many formal organizations are really fronts for a trade willing to sell anything and everything – you cannot simply trust them either.
If you think about some of these “very prestigious organizations” – and check their past – you’ll find that most have been on some dubious bandwagons promoting (minimally not challenging what they print and present) some Foo Foo.
There is too much Foo Foo.
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