Institutions tend to have a certain in-built pathological, distorted, even dysfunctional quality about them when it comes to the norms of most communicative situations, and it is this which makes them inherently unjust - Corson 1993.This came from an article a senior manager at school passed on to me; she was asked to read it for some post graduate work she was doing.
I nearly choked on my low fat yogurt!
Aside from it being so wildly out of date for university work, this is an amazingly bold statement to make.
Read it again - too lazy to cast your eyes up? Okay here it is with a slight adjustment:
Schools tend to have a certain in-built pathological, distorted, even dysfunctional quality about them when it comes to the norms of most communicative situations...Whoa Nelly!
The scary thing? I think I agree and I'm Mr Happy usually (I don't know about the next bit though - the 'unjust' clause that follows, so I left it out).
Many (most?) 'communicative situations' (ugly construction) in schools are dysfunctional. That's not the intention but it sure as heck fire is what happens along the way.
To a large extent, I blame email.
It's ubiquitous and pernicious and it has got in the way of face to face.
Of course, face to face is not always perfect especially if there are agendas at play, but it does allow for decoding a message, seeking clarification and gaining tone.
That trio aren't so easy in an email war. And it's so ubiquitous that people get cc'd all the time. Or, sometimes worse, NOT cc'd.
Corson (1993) was on to something - and this is BEFORE the onslaught of email.
I have my school email, Schoology messages, Kamar messages, my private email, and a gmail account for funsies.
I'm drowning in communication!! There's so much I can't help getting a distorted message.
Another thing I've noticed: people's patience for a reply has dwindled to minuscule proportions.
Today (a Monday) a girl asked me why I hadn't replied to her message yet (sent Sunday! Yes - yesterday!!).
Staff walk up to me all the time, not literally - work with me, and say, "Have you read my email?"
Um, yes, I have and I was ignoring it - I was waiting for you to walk past my desk to remind me.
Pretty sure I blogged recently about the dopamine effect that getting a new message has on people's brains.
What's the opposite of dopamine?
As Vaughan Bell has recently and brilliantly pointed out, dopamine can have varied – even opposite – effects, depending on the receptor it is interacting with. It can have different effects depending on the area of the brain it is activated in, and it can sometimes have different effects in the same brain area.That's what emails are producing in me at the minute - not joy!
The solution (I like to be solution focused wherever possible)? I'm fresh out of ideas.
Maybe you've cracked it. Email me.