‘Do not block the way of inquiry’: cultivating collective doubt through sustained deep reflective thinking.

In Ellen Duthie, Félix García Moriyón & Rafael Robles Loro (eds.), Parecidos de familia. Propuestas actuales en Filosofía para Niños / Family Resemblances: Current trends in philosophy for children. Madrid, Spain: pp. 47-61 (2018)
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We provide a Camusian/Peircean notion of inquiry that emphasises an attitude of fallibilism and sustained epistemic dissonance as a conceptual framework for a theory of classroom practice founded on Deep Reflective Thinking (DTR), in which the cultivation of collective doubt, reflective evaluation and how these relate to the phenomenological aspects of inquiry are central to communities of inquiry. In a study by Fynes-Clinton, preliminary evidence demonstrates that if students engage in DRT, they more frequently experience cognitive dissonance and as a result improve their ability to engage in further and more frequent DRT. Sustained intellectual progress occurs when the inquiry reaches a point whereby students can thoughtfully move between the position of disequilibrium (doubt) and equilibrium (belief) whilst understanding the impermanency of any fixed belief, which, in turn, enables reconstruction of thinking and appropriation of learning in the context of collaborative philosophical inquiry.

Author Profiles

Simone Thornton
The University of Wollongong
Gilbert Burgh
University of Queensland


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