Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Note for Hugo Kerr

A week ago, on June 1, Hugo expressed some concerns on the reading teachers listserv - concerns over the fact that I had decided to blog about my experiences on the listserv and, more specifically, about my conversations with him and what I thought of his position on dyslexia. You can read those concerns, in his own words, here in the listserv's archive (hosted by the International Reading Association).

Hugo's concerns are summed up in this statement from him (from his posting):
I have no redress or protection from quote or misquote – I certainly feel I cannot rely upon being fairly dealt with on this site.
I thought I had addressed that concern somewhere, but in looking back over my blog posts here and at Constructivist Leanings, and after going through my own postings to the listserv in the days before I left, I can't find where I did that. So I'll do it now...

Hugo (along with anyone else) is welcome to reply to anything I write by simply commenting on the blog post he wants to respond to. I will gladly publish his comments (and anyone else's) unedited, as he submits them. The only exceptions to that policy that I can think of are that I would not publish comments that included threats (expressed or implied) or personal attacks (that is to say, attacks on my character as opposed to my position). Of course, Hugo is a gentleman and a nice enough guy that I can't imagine either of those things being problems with any comment he submits; but there are other people in the world...

If that's not fair (the idea that I'll publish comments unedited, as they are submitted), I don't know what is.

I also reserve the right to not publish anonymous comments (though I have never exercised that right). While your name is probably enough (especially if you're a reading list member), you can create a Google ID for free here in a couple of minutes.

I talked previously about reaction to the idea that I might actually quote things that had been said on the listserv. In regards to that, Hugo said this when he expressed his concerns about my blog:
It is absolutely disingenuous to claim that a posting on this list can be quoted (perhaps even misquoted) then be referenced and pass muster for academic discourse purposes.
And yet the Modern Language Association's (MLA) style guide describes a format for doing just that - referencing listserv postings. So does the American Psychological Association and the International Organization for Standardization (see section 5.3.1).

But I suppose the broader question is whether my blog is academic discourse. And the answer to that is this: my blogs, here and elsewhere, are just blogs. They are personal in nature (they're about my thoughts), informal and conversational. This is not a peer reviewed journal or a paper to be presented at an academic gathering.

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