You’d think that people would have had enough of silly citations

One vice of academic discourse is the compulsion to cite authorities for the simplest, most commonsensical banalities (Gruen, 2010). Anyway, for my own notes, I record a good example of this in the opening of a paper on vocational education and training.

Teaching and innovation have ploughed forward, at least since Greek scholars about two-and-a-half millennia ago lamented an emerging innovation. Thanks to the advent of writing, learners would rely on written records, rather than solely on their memories (Gumport & Chun 1999). Similarly today, scholars, government agencies, administrators, teachers and learners face a growing universe of educational innovations — ideas and technologies — to lament and laud (Commonwealth of Australia 2013; Barber, Donnelly & Rizvi 2013; Daniel 2012). Administrators and teachers in the background and at the coalface seek efficient and effective teaching innovations (Daniel, Kanwar & Uvali?-Trumbi? 2009; Murphy 2012).

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jon altman
6 years ago

there is a lot to be said for the essay style especially if one wants to be read!

Paul Frijters
Paul Frijters(@paul-frijters)
6 years ago

a fantastic example of the genre, Nick! I too often have to read citations on the bleeding obvious (Josef-in-the-pub, 0), as well as citations on things that are obviously untrue (Mary-in-the-pub, 0). Its a great example of the increased penchant for demanding more and more certification, a kind of pagan cleansing ritual.

Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor
6 years ago

Perhaps it’s a response to being, sometimes viciously, attacked on forums for offering an opinion. If someone doesn’t agree with it they will demand a reference/citation, with the implication you’re making it up. Opinions are syntheses of multiple experiences – reading, listening and observation; different from bald statements of fact, that usually do require a reference.