Opening Minds Through Narratives

  • Susan VerducciEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 8)


This essay focuses on two specific challenges for cultivating open-mindedness in schools: preconscious perceptual limitations and an impoverished view of how humans hold beliefs. An exploration of perceptual limitations such as self-deception and perceptual blindness reveals the need for some type of curricular friction to help students perceive their own (as well as others’) beliefs and perspectives. Conceiving of strong beliefs as embedded in networks of other beliefs and tied to a person’s identity highlights why some of our beliefs can be invulnerable to the powers of rational analysis. The protection these networks provide indicates the need for a curricular tool that possesses the ability to penetrate their hold. This essay proposes that engaging with well-chosen and meaningful narratives in classrooms can help negotiate this set of challenges by providing practice in perceiving, considering, and taking seriously alternative perspectives. In doing so, narratives help cultivate the genuine openness required by open-mindedness.


Strong Belief Confirmation Bias Inattentional Blindness Doxastic Attitude Conflict Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HumanitiesSan Jose State UniversitySan JoseUSA

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