Required Unlearning

Submitted By:
Matthew Spotts S.J., Ed.M. Candidate Klingenstein Center, New York, NY

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant
Viking, February 2, 2021

Educators are in the business of growth and learning, which usually requires unlearning ideas that have proven to be wrong or limited and seeking out new visions, plans, and programs. "Unfortunately," as Adam Grant says in Think Again:The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, "when it comes to our own knowledge and opinions, we often favor feeling right over being right." What follows is a witty and accessible yet deeply-researched and challenging exposition of why precisely humans find it so difficult to relinquish opinions, and just as important, what research indicates may be ways to help ourselves and others rethink ideas. Grant divides his work into three parts, tackling by turns how individual people can rethink their own views, what methods work (and which do not!) in challenging the views of others, and what practices create cultures of learning and unlearning in groups and organizations. Whether they are engaged in classroom teaching or administration, educators will benefit from the particular gift of this book: Think Again offers clear tools for diagnosing why someone might resist changing their mind as well as conversation styles for sidestepping resistance when the topic of "thinking again" arises .

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