It is now the end of 2015 and Amazon has my self-published book advertised and available for purchase. Seems like many years have gone by so this is a moment of relief as well as offering a sense of birthing of my baby. The front page description of this blog has a clickable link to the book on Amazon. Now comes the task of marketing which looks to be daunting as this blog has not created any discernable traffic of interest in the project. I now turn my attention to search engine optimization and utilization of the new social media system. The potential audience for the book should be anyone trying to learn something rather difficult or anyone else tasked with the job of teaching something difficult. Full comprehension is argued here to depend somewhat on the development of tacit knowledge as described by Michael Polanyi.
I am so pleased to have the much needed help of Dr. Virginia Shepard as an editor for both content and copy. She is a former English professor at West Liberty University where we met back in a former lifetime. Not only does she find all the missing commas and other mysteries of punctuation, along with better word usage, but she is responding to the content of the book with considerable insight and requests elucidation where my words are vague and suggests fascinating tangents for further clarity. I am now in the process of incorporating these invaluable ideas and suggestions into the manuscript. Ginny is writing several books herself so no grass is growing under her feet. Retirement can be a rich opportunity to stretch ones wings!
One reason for developing this blog is to help me with the task of writing and editing a book explaining the structure of tacit knowledge as laid out by Michael Polanyi in his theory by the same name. I am editing a first rough draft and keep finding new material and ideas to add into the book. I will be testing these out in some of the post categories. Current plans are to publish the book using Amazons “CreateSpace” self publishing arm. This is all a new and somewhat bewildering experience.
A key problem I have is that no audience exists for the book. Nobody knows to be interested and the absence of Polanyi’s thought within the field of education leads to a sense of “who cares” and “why bother”. I have just hit upon an idea to apply the tacit theory of knowledge to current controversies in education for which there are many. Critics slam educators for many reasons including a concern that teachers are not content oriented enough. Educational theory offered in colleges of education appear to stress social, “feel good”, theoretical ideas above the necessary and hard content that makes up “real” learning. Professional educators slam back at the critics for promoting old “drill and kill” tactics certain to deluge reluctant students with unpleasant stultifying, fact-based, cramming. Polanyi offers a common ground for these disparate views. Understanding the tacit theory of knowledge can lead to an engagement between intellectual foes. We might find a way for both sides to come together. My first rough draft now needs significant rewriting. The adventure continues on a new path.