This video points out a very inconvenient truth: that most of us adults don't like inconvenient truths
This video points out a very inconvenient truth: that most of us adults don't like inconvenient truths. Let's teach the next generation to be comfortable with changing their minds when presented with the facts.
Our current students will grow up in a world of information overload, of endless social and political issues and debates - and 'alternative facts'. And as educators we will of course encourage and teach our students to conduct their own 'fact-checks'.
But often when we hear facts that contradict what we already believe we experience what's called 'cognitive dissonance'. This explains why many adults (from all persuasions and backgrounds) struggle to change their mind even when presented with compelling evidence to the contrary. It's just too uncomfortable. This inflexibility and intolerance could become a huge problem in the near future as passionate individuals and groups become further entrenched in ongoing social warfare. (Take the current same-sex marriage issue in Australia as one example.)
This is where teachers can play a big part in creating a preferred future – that of a more cohesive, compassionate and harmonious society.
It is simply a matter of ‘dispositions’. It is probably too late for many adults, but we can teach our young children these three dispositions identified in the Australian Curriculum's Critical and Creative Thinking document:
- to be Open and Fair-minded (to consider the opinions and ideas of others)
- to Tolerate Ambiguity (not everything is black and white so it's okay to defer making a decision)
- to be Flexible (that it's okay to change your mind when you have new information).
If we teach these dispositions now we may well end up with a generation of very open-minded, tolerant and flexible citizens who are swayed by the facts (not prejudice and bias).
Looking for a fun way to introduce primary school kids to these essential dispositions? Try this new super hero… Captain Disposition!
Watch the video below.