The Ever Expanding Bubble of Knowledge and Facts

A former student shared this article by Jef Rouner, “NO, IT’S NOT YOUR OPINION. YOU’RE JUST WRONG” on facebook and I reshare this here.

It is definitely a quick and worthwhile read, especially for those who are in the profession of educating young minds and often struggle with how to guide young people toward more fact-based opinion forming, something that I have to face frequently.  As mentioned in the article, young children often believe that what they know is the totality of certain area of facts (about dinosaurs, about Star Wars, about the Civil Rights movement, etc.,) and thus they easily believe that their opinions, based on all that they know, are 100% accurate and valid, even sacred, and cannot be challenged: by peers or teachers whose knowledge bases are a lot bigger.

But my students are in their pre-teen and early/mid-teen years and are still quite flexible in becoming better informed. I just have to keep pointing out (and sometimes bursting) the bubbles they find themselves in.  In fact, we all operate within our own knowledge/information/social bubbles.  All our knowledge bases have to have some sort of limitation, even when we are well-informed.  In order for me to be less limited, I need to keep identifying the boundary of each bubble and see how to expand the size of that bubble to include more facts and thus strengthen or even alter my opinions.  I hope I can continue modeling this behavior in front of my students so they can accept when their bubbles are being challenged or burst!

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