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Mission Tweak

October 26, 2006

This site’s mission used to say: “Dedicated To Dialogue About U.S. History, Teaching Methodologies, The History of Education, And Everything In Between: Asking Good Questions Matters More Than Knowing the Right Answers.”

Here’s where I’m going with it: “This Site Is Dedicated To Philosophizing About U.S. History, The History of Education In General, Teaching Methodologies, And Everything In Between. Asking Good Questions And Improving Our Understanding Matter More Than Knowing The “Right” Answers.”

I hope this is an improvement. I figured whole sentences were better than fragments, and I wanted to work in the notion of ‘philosophizing.’ On the history of education, I hope to post more stories on the history of education in general and not just on the history of U.S. education. I also wanted to clarify that making some kind of progress on a topic does matter – hence “improving our understanding.”

By putting quotations around “Right,” I want to emphasize the tentative nature of objective knowledge. I should note that I do not want to mock the idea that there are right ways to improve our understanding. Do I believe in objective knowledge? Yes. Do I believe that there standards (i.e. logic) for conducting inquiries? Yes. Do I believe, however, that objective knowledge may possess a relative component? Absolutely. Every historian understands that inquiries from the present to the past begin with the questions of the inquirer. Moreover, the stories fashioned out of those inquiries by historians are often from the perspective of one or a few potentially fallible human beings. In sum, this site – in its posts and commentary – will find a way to acknowledge the tentative nature of objective knowledge. – TL

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