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Davidson!   You wrote:

One object of this kind of education should be to help students back off from their certainties to test other assertions. Very few people of any age can do this.

Entirely agreed, and emphatically seconded!


(My own thinking on this has been guided by Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. I tried to find a mix of conservative Christian and liberal secular high school students to do a class on this book a couple years ago. That… never materialized!)


In our schools, we’re trying to normalize changing your mind. We’re trying to show that it’s the rare good thinker who hasn’t killed a handful of their most sacred beliefs. (Note that “sacred beliefs” there include non-religious beliefs — like political ideologies, and even atheism.)


That’s part of why we’re starting with this “many creation narratives” approach — to begin to familiarize students with the experience of talking about the questions that matter, and to allow them to play with ideas, without strongly commiting themselves to a belief before they find excellent evidence for it.