Dr. Savo Heleta, a scholar at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, argues that scholars should devote more of their work to communicating with readers outside of the university.
Heleta explains that, to his dismay, professors have few incentives to write for a broader audience. As a result, scholars most often write for each other–and, in truth, not very many of each other. (According to one study, 82% of articles published in humanities journals are never cited by another scholar. As my grandmother wryly noted: never is a long time.)
So, how are you part of the solution?
In my experience, Learning and the Brain (along with the related scholarly discipline, Mind Brain Education) is one of the few places where such connections happen regularly and successfully.
- You’re a 6th grade science teacher, and you want to learn about the latest research in synapse formation?
- You’re an academic psychologist who studies adolescent motivation, and you want to know what high school teachers really struggle with day to day?
- You work with special needs students, and you’d like to understand the research into executive function with greater sophistication?
In each of these cases, and dozens more, you’d like to join a dialogue between researchers and K-12 professionals.
You are–simply put–doing what Helata wants the world to do: helping highly specialized knowledge get out of the ivory tower and into the everyday world of education. In Helata’s hopeful phrase, you just might be changing the world.