Help:Policies and guidelines
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It has been recommended that this page be merged with Policy guide.
to construct a global pedagogical commons — a repository of knowledge and thought, free and open to all — in which we assemble and advance the world's responses to this basic question, What educates?
This purpose significantly differs from that of Wikipedia, but we will achieve this purpose through the work of peer production, which Wikipedia has brilliantly pioneered. Wikipedia's policies and guidelines have been a key to its success and the policies and guidelines for StudyPlace begin from those of Wikipedia, with important adaptations owing to the distinctive purpose of StudyPlace. In spirit, StudyPlace affirms and adopts the policies and guidelines for Wikipedia, but it does so deviating in substance in some important ways. For instance, What StudyPlace is not differs from what Wikipedia is not because the two undertakings are different, however complementary. Wikipedia is vast, expansive, and aims at being comprehensive; StudyPlace, on the other hand, maintains a specialized concern with education. Wikipedia documents the present in all its historicity, formally it does not aim at producing or advancing original thought; StudyPlace, however, encourages the production of original thought, in so far as it is rooted in sociohistorical awareness.
These distinctions are not hard and fast, and need to be worked out. They are not to overlook the obvious, that the whole idea of original thought - and the corresponding realm of educational phenomena - is in question amid our period of great historical change. Wikipedia, of course, is growing quickly, and in so doing it is bringing concepts and issues to the human encyclopedia that have heretofore been seen as irrelevant. In this sense Wikipedia contributors are documenting the emergence of original thought, even despite their inclination not to employ original research. Hence, the boundary lines between StudyPlace and Wikipedia are hard to draw with confidence. At this point it is probably safe to say that StudyPlace will become a specialized, scholarly work, whereas Wikipedia is a very comprehensive general encyclopedia. But the question of when and how the potentials of a very comprehensive work morph into those of a specialized, scholarly work is an open one, and an interesting inquiry at that.
Even so, Wikipedia policies and guidelines do provide a helpful platform for the construction of StudyPlace. Wikipedia policies on respecting other contributors (see Wikipedia:Civility, Wikipedia:Etiquette, and Wikipedia:Dispute_resolution.)and against infringing copyright (see Wikipedia:Copyrights) are thoroughly suitable for StudyPlace. Other key Wikipedia policies, for instance those on avoiding bias, are appropriate for StudyPlace, although we might add to them further considerations that make StudyPlace more hospitable to the development of distinctive points of view.
StudyPlace is in its initial stages of development and it is not likely to develop along a straight line. Some aspects of what it can become will emerge more quickly. These zig zags will affect the articulation of its policies and guidelines. In some ways these are both most important and least relevant when there is practically nothing of substance in StudyPlace. As a digital commons becomes self-exemplifying through its contents, these communicate what it is and how it works to most users. When such self-exemplification is unavailable, stated policies and guidelines may be more important as guides to potential contributors who want to get with the program, as the phrase goes. At the same time, in the early stages of a digital commons, with the effort starved for content, just about anything goes. Putting up incomplete and tentative contributions is very helpful, for in a context of peer production, they can be filled out and redirected as contributors to the editorial development of the site choose. Initially policies and guidelines may proliferate with the first version of many possibilities, and as users interlace with these and as they settle into a growing context of substantive contributions, some will get refined and others discarded and the gap between principle and practice will narrow. For now, here are some tentative possibilities —
- Be inquisitive (HAQs, FAQs, LUQs, and PIQs)
- Importance of Original Thought (combined with No Original Research)
- Original thinking can thrive in a peer-production system in the same way that it does in good conversation and dialogue
- The field of education has ample means for publishing original research. There is no need for an additional one, which would only further dissipate the focus of research efforts.
- Critical intelligence combined with a neutral point of view
- Avoiding excessive, unexamined reliance on the teaching-learning paradigm
- The concept of education
- Copious considerations
- Listen and read well
- Humor facilitates, anger impedes
- Do not suffer fools