Of Conspiracy and Controversy: A Pedagogy of Conspiracy Theories


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Authors
Bezalel, Glenn 
Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe growth of academic discussion about teaching controversial topics in the classroom has been matched by parallel studies into conspiracy theories in recent decades. Despite the interdisciplinary interest in the latter, there has been very little discussion of conspiracy theories within educational discourse. This article takes up the discussion of conspiracy theories in the context of educating about controversies in the classroom. In it, Glenn Bezalel argues first that their prevalence in society means that conspiracy theories inevitably come up in the classroom and so teachers need cogent and comprehensive tools to deal with them. Moreover, conspiracy theories also provide important challenges and opportunities for democratic educational aims and related critical thinking skills. Bezalel then uses case studies to demonstrate that the behavioral and political criteria both fail in principle to serve as effective tools for teaching about conspiracy theories in the classroom. He contends instead that the epistemic criterion proves to be a necessary framework for this purpose, although it is insufficient in meeting the singular existential and social challenges that conspiracy theories also entail. Rather, Bezalel proposes that teachers employ virtue theory as well in order to aid teaching and learning about conspiracy theories, with the complementary aim of promoting and developing students' character and intellectual virtues.</jats:p>

Description
Keywords
3901 Curriculum and Pedagogy, 39 Education
Journal Title
Educational Theory
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
0013-2004
1741-5446
Volume Title
Publisher
Wiley