4 article possibilities

As I expand on an article I wrote on the hierarchy of concepts in education, it occurred to me (after reading the reviews from my conference proceeding) that reviewers of most business education journals may find the article less "innovative" (and less worthy of publication) than Ayn Rand' theory of concepts really is.  To that end, I want to transition my original article into a comparison between Objectivism's philosophy of education and other dominant theories.  There are several possible directions I can take and would like your input as to which to pursue:

1. Subjective experience versus Objective knowledge
Subjective experience in education is an artifact of Dewey's philosophy of education.  My original paper could be transitioned to this relatively easily, but the contents may be a bit abstract for the journals I have in mind.  I would still have a difficult sell, but one that I believe is possible.

2. Team work versus Individual work
Team work is very popular topic in business education journals.  Team work in and of itself is not a bad thing to incorporate into the classroom, if an objective of the class is to improve communication, collaboration, and planning skills.  However, it is a poor means of building knowledge of concepts.  Relating the theory of knowledge to team work can offer some tantalizing propositions, but will require much more effort to transition the article.

3.  Academic service learning (ASL)
I've written about my experiences with ASL before and its good and bad aspects.  This topic would be a variation of the first option, but far more publishable.  But it would also require much more effort to transition the article.  In fact it would probably be better to start this one from scratch.

4. Classifications versus Cause-effect relationships
While the meat of my article would remain essentially untouched, the introduction would require some magical writing to convince readers of the problem without empirical data to support my assertion.  Essentially, I've found that most textbooks in IS focus almost exclusively on classifying technologies, nearly completely ignoring cause-effect relationships.   The lack of cause-effect relationships means principles are never addressed.  So students know what technologies are called, but not how to use them appropriately.

Of course, I could write an article on each of these topics (and may eventually), but right now, I need to take the paper I've started and get it published. Any thoughts?


  1. Hi John,

    I have no experience with academia (other than as an undergraduate) or with journals, but I can at least offer my perspective from having been a student. The articles I would have liked my professors and instructors to have read and understood are #4 and #2 the most, then #1, and #3 last.

    As to #4, you've exactly described the frustration I felt with most of my CS/IT education, at both the University and the community college. It's also, as far as I understand, a huge concern for employers, and one of (if not the) top issues that separates the star performers from the warm bodies. Simply clarifying the issue alone would be of great value, if the information managed to make it into the right hands.

    As to #2, it was common knowledge among my fellow students that team projects were often misused or at least mismanaged by professors and instructors. They were supposed to give us experience toward working on professional teams, but there were important reasons why the professional environment could never be duplicated in the classroom. It was also expected that the lower performing students would learn from the higher performing ones and, correspondingly, the higher performing students would learn to lead. This was supposed to happen on its own, which of course rarely worked out.

    As to #1, it seemed that most of my professors and instructors either already grasped this, at least implicitly, or would not have been able to grasp it. My fellow students caught on to the second type quickly and made their dissatisfaction clear in the evals.

    As to #3, I've had minimal experience with AS-L, but what I did have was positive. The project was part of an extracurricular program, not the regular classroom; and we never met the people we were helping, we just shipped our product.

    Whichever you choose to write, I wish you the best. The Objectivist theory of concepts has a lot to offer the CS/IT world.

  2. Great input Kelleyn!

    Unfortunately, just because I write an article, even an exceptional article, does not mean other professors will decide to read it, or if they read it - agree, or if they agree - implement my suggestions. But my hope is that a new research stream can be generated that does attract some attention, does positively influence enough other professors that over time, things do change. Its a long hard road.