Summary of belief blogs, #5 of 5

Part 1 — Beliefs may be life’s greatest paradox.  We control them and they control us.

Part 2 — Where beliefs come from is not complicated.  They come from experience.

Part 3 — The reason we believe is simple.  Beliefs give meaning to our lives.

Part 4 — Beliefs are like rivers that cut through different terrains.  Religious beliefs are deep rivers cutting through mysterious terrain.  Political beliefs are broad, shallow rivers cutting through open, contested terrain.  And education beliefs are like either religious ones or political ones, depending on whether they are about private or public education.

My final words on beliefs come from Jonathan Swift and Cordelia Fine:

From Swift: “You cannot reason someone out of something they were not reasoned into.”

And according to Fine.

How’s this for a cynical view of science? “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

Now I know why, even though social science findings have done little to improve education, educators believe in them.  And now I know what to tell TSVOTEP readers, who ask what I am doing to help teachers and principals improve education. I am blogging, teaching, and waiting for social science believers to die.



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