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  1. Sep 2022
    1. The need for students to participate in the larger conversations around subject mattershelps writers creating more intellectual prose, but this becomes difficult in a “culture

      prone to naming winners and losers, rights and wrongs. You are in or out, hot or not, on the bus or off it. But academics seldom write in an all-or- nothing mode” (p. 26).

      Our culture is overly based on the framing of winners or losers and we don't leave any room for things which aren't a zero sum game. (See: Donald J. Trump's framing of his presidency.) We shouldn't approach academic writing or even schooling or pedagogy in general as a zero sum game. We need more space and variety for neurodiversity as teaching to the middle or even to the higher end is going to destroy the entire enterprise.


      Politics is not a zero sum game. Even the losers have human rights and deserve the ability to live their lives.

  2. Feb 2019
    1. “Fury over the possibility that kids will get off too easy or feel too good about themselves seems to rest on three underlying values. The first is deprivation: Kids shouldn’t be spared struggle and sacrifice, regardless of the effects. The second value is scarcity: the belief that excellence, by definition, is something that not everyone can attain. No matter how well a group of students performs, only a few should get A’s. Otherwise we’re sanctioning “grade inflation” and mediocrity. To have high standards, there must always be losers. But it’s the third conviction that really ties everything together: an endorsement of conditionality. Children ought never to receive something desirable — a sum of money, a trophy, a commendation — unless they’ve done enough to merit it. They shouldn’t even be allowed to feel good about themselves without being able to point to tangible accomplishments. In this view, we have a moral obligation to reward the deserving and, equally important, make sure the undeserving go conspicuously unrewarded. Hence the anger over participation trophies. The losers mustn’t receive something that even looks like a reward.

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