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Topoi

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 93–102 | Cite as

The Scope of Debiasing in the Classroom

  • Guillaume Beaulac
  • Tim KenyonEmail author
Article

Abstract

Critical thinking is often taught with some emphasis on categories and operations of cognitive biases. The underlying thought is that knowledge of biases equips students to reduce them. The empirical evidence, however, doesn’t provide much support for this thought. We have previously argued that the emphasis on debiasing in critical thinking education is worth preserving, but in light of a more explicit and broader conception of debiasing. We now argue that this broader conception of debiasing strategies obliges critical thinking instructors and curriculum designers to reflect on the teaching approaches that might facilitate the use of those strategies. We propose some teaching techniques to expand the scope of debiasing in the classroom—some untested, some only rarely and recently characterized as critical thinking strategies, rather than as pragmatic considerations in, e.g., design, engineering, marketing. These methods and others like them, we suggest, broaden the prospects for teaching a range of effective critical thinking techniques for debiasing.

Keywords

Critical thinking Education Bias Debiasing Nudges 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Tomás Magalhães Carneiro, Jennifer Saul, two anonymous referees for this journal, and the organizers and participants of the Reasoning, Argumentation, and Critical Thinking Instruction conference, held at Lund University in February 2015. This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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