Opportunities to discuss proliferate in the internet,
but so do intellectual frauds and ideological
segregation. We rarely try to learn something from
people with different belief systems. Opinions that
challenge our world view are easily dismissed and
aggressively attacked almost all the time. Pedagogies
based on discussion can help students progress in a much
more interesting direction.
We think that the pedagogical innovation that we want to promote through KEY, stimulates the capacity of interpreting critically new information, relating it to knowledge adcquired in very different contexts, building autonomously a perspective and subjecting it to constant revision. This attitude is fertile and even indespensable much beyond the classroom. But a discussion that lacks some necessary qualities may be even counter-productive. It is necessary to create an environment in which it is easy to admit one's own errors. When we change opinion for a good reason, for instance because of new information, saying it proudly encourage people to do the same thing, makes disagreements less threatening, and favours the search for the best ideas that challenge our current position. This paves the way to a much deeper and more constructive understanding of things and people.
Respecting people who express opinions that we find offensive, is often the most intelligent and effective way of challenging such opinions. Regardless of whether we think that an idea is legitimate, we can admit its defense as legitimate. Similarly to what happens during a class, feeling free to say what feels right, even when it is actually terribly wrong, increases the chances to correct the error. There are, of course, very controversial cases in which it is not appropriate to be benevolent. But overreacting to antagonist views is by far a more common response than its opposite.
In the ambit of KEY 1.0, we will not have the opportunity to experiment the tool of constructive discussion in broader contexts than that of the science class, but we will elicit social and intellectual skills necessary for the pupils to take this step. We hope in a full success of KEY 1.0, to be followed by more ambitious versions of the same project.
KEY 1.0 Team Coordinator
We encourage students, teachers, reasearchers in the field of pedagogy, and anybody interested in our work for any reason, to share with us doubts and constructive comments, pose questions or propose collaborations. You may do this either by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org OR by filling in the form on the right.