Sarit Barzilai (Faculty of Education, University of Haifa)
« Epistemic Disagreement and Epistemic Growth »
Mercredi 17 novembre 2021, 17h00-18h30

Disagreements have played a central role in research on epistemic thinking. This role reflects the importance of productive engagement with disagreements in the social construction of knowledge and in democratic discourse more generally. In this talk, I will discuss the deep-rooted connections between epistemic disagreement and epistemic growth. In the first part of the talk, I will show that disagreements have had a dual function in research on epistemic growth: They have been used in order to reveal and depict the nature of epistemic growth, and they have also been used as a pedagogical tool for fostering epistemic growth. These functions can be traced back to Perry’s groundbreaking work and continue to be a fertile ground of current research. In the second part of the talk, I will argue that these long-standing conceptions of the role of disagreement in epistemic growth are increasingly challenged by developments in networked information societies, specifically, by the prevalence of misinformation and deep epistemic disagreements in the public sphere. Reflecting on these trends, I will ask if disagreements can still serve as a paradigm for assessing and fostering epistemic growth, and how conceptions of disagreement and growth might need to change in order to educationally address current « post-truth » challenges.

Publications related to the talk
Barzilai, S., & Chinn, C. A. (2018). On the goals of epistemic education: Promoting apt epistemic performance. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 27(3), 353-389.
Barzilai, S., Thomm, E., & Shlomi-Elooz, T. (2020). Dealing with disagreement: The roles of topic familiarity and disagreement explanation in evaluation of conflicting expert claims and sources. Learning and Instruction, 69, 101367.
Chinn, C. A., Barzilai, S., & Duncan, R. G. (2020). Disagreeing about how to know: The instructional value of explorations into knowing. Educational Psychologist, 55(3), 167-180.

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