In recent years, our world has become ever more complex, uncertain, and volatile. We are in the midst of an epistemic crisis that is amplifying social divisions, eroding trust in institutions, and threatening our democracy. To navigate this environment, citizens need to be able to question their assumptions, seek out diverse sources of information, and engage constructively with people with differing backgrounds, beliefs, and values.
Our work is intended to address this critical need. We believe we can help revitalize the health of our society by preparing the next generation for wise thinking and thoughtful deliberation with their fellow citizens. In this project, we will build on the success and learnings of our current grant to explore the following Big Questions:
1) Can scalable digital solutions aid educators in fostering intellectual and civic character in the classroom, 2) What role do educators play in cultivating intellectual and civic character in their students, and 3) Does intellectual humility promote educational and civic outcomes?
To answer these questions, we will pursue four key activities: (1) develop a suite of tools for high school and college students and educators to foster civic and intellectual character in learning environments, (2) conduct randomized controlled experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of our tools, (3) pursue three core strategies to scale Constructive Dialogue Institute to 1 million students in high school and university settings annually, and (4) embark on an ambitious thought leadership initiative to elevate the importance of intellectual humility and constructive dialogue among educators, policy experts, and the broader public.
Through those efforts, we will help prepare the next generation to navigate the challenges of the 21st century by equipping them with the habits of heart and mind to grapple with complexity, consider diverse perspectives, and build bridges across differences.