Overview of the Truth Ideal
The Truth Module helps students develop understanding
and appreciation of the complexities involved in figuring out issues
of truth. Issues of truth come up constantly day to day--rumors
in personal life, politician's statements, scientific controversies,
news reports, and many more. They also come up constantly in the
subject areas: How can we prove this mathematical idea? How do we
know this "fact" from history? How sure can we be of this
scientific theory or historical or literary interpretation? Seeking
truth is one of the fundamental threads in human thought and human
Specifically, the Truth Module aims to:
- Increase students' awareness of the many
issues of truth and evidence that come up both in academic studies
and in everyday life.
- Create a commitment to a habit of being
thoughtful about such issues.
- Teach students how to navigate through situations
of confusion, doubt and conflict regarding truth.
- Engage students in reflection and communication
that fosters different thinking skills helpful for sorting out
matters of truth and evidence.
- Develop students' sensitivity to issues
of truth so that they recognize them even in situations that don't
feel highly charged.
As in all the modules, the module for truth makes extensive use of thinking routines rich in the kinds of thinking that serve questions of truth. Recall that thinking routines do not need to be taught in advance; you can simply begin to use them in the context of content learning. Also, many routines apply to more than one ideal. For more about routines in general, see the routines section.
The 5 routines for this module are:
- *Tug for Truth -- reasons pulling different
ways, plus questions to investigate, a Truth Ideal version of
the crosscutting Tug of War routine
- *Claim, Support, Question -- clarify claim,
give support, look at other side of case
- *True for Who -- what different voices might
say about the same issue, a Truth Ideal version of the Circle
- Spotting Hotspots -- look for issues of
true and false, rate as to importance and uncertainty
- Stop, Look, Listen -- be clear about a claim,
identify likely sources, ask what the sources might tell you
* Consider starting with one of these routines
Each of these routines is explained in the truth routines section.
Because the Truth Module is an inquiry into students' thinking as much as it is an instructional program, the module includes several activities for probing students thinking. These are often done at the beginning of the module as a way of introducing the ideal . Other activities involve students in reflecting on what they have been learning and can be found in the working with the ideal section. Finally, wrap up and post-measures of students' thinking are included in the looking at students' conceptual development section.