2023-11-29 21:29

Kobus van Wyk

Don’t be shy to be a rabble-rouser

The e-pioneer is a rabble-rouser.

A rabble-rouser is an agitator – a person who stirs up the passions of others.  Some people hold a negative view of agitators.  Should you be one? 

Desmond Tutu is proud to be called a “Rabble-rouser for Peace” – the title of his authorized biography.  This implies that one can rouse the rabble – the confused mob – in positive ways.

The e-pioneer should be a rabble-rouser for e-learning.

When the rabble are slow to respond to your gentle efforts to embrace technology as a teaching tool you may have to resort to other ways to rouse them to action.  This is when you must assume the role of an agitator.  Jump up and down, stomp, whoop, wave your fists, or do whatever is required to get their attention.  Get on your soap-box and agitate for the adoption of e-learning.  At times circumstances will dictate that you even do this in the principal’s office.

Rabble-rousing is effective only if you do it in small doses – when you over-do it, the force of the effort is lost.  Keep this card close to your chest and play it when all else fails.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers.


  1. This kind of behaviour takes courage and passion… and an increased likelihood of embarrassing mistakes! But it’s so much better than doing nothing.

    I like this quote from Theodore Roosevelt (U.S. president):
    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

  2. Being a rabble-rouser is fine if you can take the flack from all sides and still stick to your guns. On the other hand, the rabble rouser may just give up because nobody listens anymore.

    I like UWC’s mission statement ” A place of quality, a place to grow from hope to action through knowledge.” I like the action part since the dream is being realized through doing and not just talking.

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