Quote of the Day

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Eighth Key

After much thought and research, I have discovered an 8th Key to GWU!

#8. "Strawmen, not Statesmen"


Whether it's arbitrarily calling things from grocery stores to schools to the entire world "Soviet-style conveyor belts," or asserting that a professional education does not teach one how to think, this hidden key is vital to spreading the mission of Strawmanship ...err Statesmanship.

You see, strawmen are much easier opponents to attack than the real thing!

It's simple to do.

Take textbooks for example. You would have a difficult time constructing a sound argument against using textbooks. After all, they are a handy way to present the principles of a subject, and serve as a great companion to those works that delve more deeply into those principles, namely Classics.

Better to make up your own definition of what textbooks are, and then attack that instead.

For example:

Textbook
(noun) \ˈteks(t)-ˌbu̇k\ A "dumbed down" and "boring" work that "doesn't say anything important." Antonym: Classic.

Now attack away! What kind of fool would use this textbook thing in education? Clearly, Thomas Jefferson would never have stood for a dumbed-down work that stood at odds with the works of Cicero and Joan of Arc. ;-)

But wait. What if you yourself have written a textbook and would like to incorporate this into your curriculum without appearing hypocritical? Simple! Did you forget the 2nd Key already? Obfuscate and call it a classic!

That's the 8th Key my friends. Study these keys carefully, for they are the seeds of greatness. And if you work hard, maybe one day you too can be a mentor in Class-C office space on a frontage road in Southern Utah!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Textbooks can be handy. But as someone who has seen the most commonly used textbooks in public schools grades 1-8, I would agree that textbooks are atrocious. They are dumbed down. They have such a busy layout that it's hard to find the information you want and if you're talking about a history book, they don't give a very accurate picture. This is my opinion based on what I've seen after five years of working and volunteering in four school districts. I've been in special ed and gen ed classrooms and have been in two teaching credential programs (finishing in April 2010). I'm not meaning this as a defense of TJEd by any means but I'm wondering why on earth anyone would claim that textbooks are good in public schools for anything but a shallow introduction? And when you contrast that with the terrific "real" books out there (doesn't even have to be a classic), what makes textbooks so awesome? Why does calling textbooks dumb mean you're setting up a strawman?