Education Myths by Jay P. Greene was in the “New Books” section of the college library, so I picked it up, started reading it, checked it out, and finished reading it.
It is an interesting book in many ways and I agree with most of his points or, at least, he makes them well enough for me to tend to agree. Sometimes I think he lacksadaisically says, “Oh that won’t wash!” (in more lofty terms) and I caught him at it once or twice where I thought, “Well, whyever not?”
One irritant though. He never refers to himself as “I.” So when he says “Jay Greene at University of Texas” or “Jay Greene with the Whatever Institute,” if you’re not watching, you’ll think he’s talking about someone else’s work. But it’s his.
I was already bothered by it when I read The Constructive Curmudgeon’s post asking if there is such a thing as self-plagiarism and wondering how self-referential academic writing should be. My reading of this book informed my comment on that blog.
It just irritated the thunder out of me. Why couldn’t he just say “I”? Is it because then it would sound as if he were self-plagiarizing because so much of the work is his in another form? I don’t think so. He does sufficient presentation of the other side’s opinion that, even if he does it in his studies (which I can’t frankly imagine unless they were for student papers and set up), I found it novel.
I haven’t read his studies or any of those he referenced. I did stick a bookmark in, though, to remind me to look up the studies he referenced in one chapter to make sure that they actually said what he summarized them as saying.