Educating for Intellectual Humility: Countering Arrogance and Servility

The intellectual Humility in Education Symposium session on Educating for Intellectual Humility: Countering Arrogance and Servility was held on Friday Oct 5. 2018.


Educating for Intellectual Humility: Countering Arrogance and Servility


On Friday, October 5, 2018 an interdisciplinary group of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students came together for a day-long workshop to investigate the following questions, “How important is it to know what you know? How important is it to know what you don’t know?”


The speakers included philosophers, applied linguistics, mathematicians, and human rights educators, who presented their research on the topic of facilitating intellectual humility in education.


The day started with presentations by philosophers Jason Baehr (Loyola Marymount University), Heather Battaly (UCONN), Daniel Howard-Snyder (Western Washington University), and Dennis Whitcomb (Western Washington University) which explained the Limitations Owning view of intellectual humility. Their key claim is that intellectually humble people are aware of and own their own intellectual limitations, for instance, their cognitive mistakes or gaps in knowledge. In contrast, arrogant people are unaware of their limitations or pretend they don’t exist, whereas servile people focus on theirs too much. In discussions following the presentations the workshop participants addressed contexts in which intellectual humility might not be beneficial, such as – at times –  for the underserved or the oppressed.



In the next interdisciplinary presentation, Michael Byram (Durham University), Fabiana Cardetti and Manuela Wagner (UCONN) shared their investigation on the interrelations between intellectual humility and intercultural citizenship, a theory developed by Byram (2008). They also presented and elicited feedback for their research plan for an empirical study in which they collaborate with world language and mathematics teachers in two public schools to better understand how intellectual humility and intercultural citizenship can mutually enrich each other in practice.



The afternoon began with a presentation by Sandra Sirota (UCONN) about her study of intellectual humility among high school students in human rights classes. She presented the connection between intellectual humility and human rights education, which can be found in such shared values as consideration and respect for the dignity of others. Sirota discussed how the implementation of a deliberation skills curriculum in human rights classes influenced different aspects of students’ intellectual humility. This was followed by a generative discussion with the entire audience about how deliberation may also play a role in other virtues and intellectual characters.  


The organizers were pleased to see that there was a distinct workshop atmosphere as participants tried to wrap their minds around the question of how can we facilitate the development of intellectual humility in education. They hope that this event leads to similar interdisciplinary workshops that explore intellectual humility, and ways of countering arrogance and servility.


Summer Institute: Teaching Conviction, Humility, and “the Facts” in the American Studies Classroom 

A man with “fake news” rushing to the printing press.1894

The Humility and Conviction in Public Life Project at the University of Connecticut announces its 2018 Summer Institute for Early College Experience (ECE) Teachers:


Teaching Conviction, Humility, and “the Facts” in the American Studies Classroom 


In a time of “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and cries from across the political spectrum that truth is dead, the American Studies classroom is more heated, energizing, and necessary than ever. This UConn Summer Institute on Teaching Conviction, Humility, and “the Facts” will provide an opportunity for teachers of American Studies in the Early College Experience Program to come together for the week of July 23-27 to learn methods for navigating this environment and guiding your students in productive and intellectually diverse dialogues about American culture, history, and politics. While working with leading scholars of intellectual humility, truth & public life, and American Studies, this institute is an opportunity for collaboration and community building among ECE teacher-scholars from around the state. In addition to pedagogy work, topics for consideration and possible lesson adoption may include: the press, visual culture, and the Spanish American War; national apologies & reparations for slavery, Indian Boarding Schools & Japanese American Internment; Fascism and Populism in America over time; WWII, Vietnam & the Fog of War; and the Legacies of Watergate.


Morning sessions will be lecture and discussion. Afternoon sessions will be small-group collaboration with a focus on pedagogical techniques and curriculum development in consultation with institute leaders and visiting specialists. Participants will finish the week with new classroom methods, lesson plans, and syllabi.


Confirmed speakers include:


Heather Battaly, Professor of Philosophy, UConn

Michael P. Lynch, Director of the UConn Humanities Institute, Principal Investigator for the Humility and Conviction in Public Life project, and Professor of Philosophy, UConn

Micki McElya, Professor of History, UConn, and Director of the 2018 HCPL Summer Institute

Bonnie Miller, Associate Professor of American Studies, UMass Boston

Sandra Sirota, Postdoctoral Researcher with the Humility and Conviction in Public Life project, and Co-Coordinator of the 2018 HCPL Summer Institute

Chris Vials, Director of the American Studies Program, and Associate Professor of English, UConn


For more information, contact: sandra.sirota@uconn.edu

Visit: https://humilityandconviction.uconn.edu/teaching-conviction-humility-and-the-facts-in-the-american-studies-classroom/



If you require an accommodation to participate, please contact Humanities Institute staff
(Nasya Al-Saidy) at uchi@uconn.edu or phone (860) 486-9057 by July 18, 2018