Teaching in a Post-Fact World
Stephen Colbert warned us when he coined the term "truthiness" for those things that feel satisfyingly true, but have no actual basis in fact.
And now we are swimming in it. From a Washington Post piece about brexit:
All of this has come about thanks to a world that is increasingly suspicious of experts. Please, can we choose another category of people to be suspicious of other than experts, which is just another word for “people who have spent their entire lives trying to learn more about complex subjects than the average person, so that they can give us informed advice”? How about “non-experts”? How about “people who know less than we do but assure us that things will probably be fine”?
In our own Presidential race, we have a candidate who lies repeatedly, without reservation, without restraint-- and without consequence. "I support Trump because he singlehandedly fought off the Antarctican Army when it attacked the Fortress of Solitude," someone will say, and even after you point out that virtually nothing in that sentence is actually true, they will simply not care. "Whatever. Trump really tells it like it is." No, no he doesn't. But his lies don't matter because facts don't matter.
I'm not going to try to explain how or why we're here, living in a world where people believe they are, in fact, entitled to both their own opinions and their own facts. But as a teacher, I think about this a lot.
Never mind adapting teaching to new technology or new standards or stupid tests-- how do we teach in a world where facts don't matter?
Mind you, the US has always been fertile ground for bunk. I am just finishing up a book about the CURMUDGUCATION:
Big Education Ape: CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Some Must-Reads for June - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2016/06/curmudgucation-icymi-some-must-reads.html