Intellectual

Intellectual character

Assets | Truth-seeking

1. Highlights

Truth-seeking is the process of finding and evaluating information that deepens our understanding of the world around us. It includes identifying information and distinguishing what is fact from what is fiction or opinion and critically assessing the quality of our data, and also using and applying that information in a way that prioritizes fairness, honesty and inclusivity.

Critically assess the quality and source of data.

Stay open to new information by recognizing the limits of knowledge.

Pursue accurate information to address critical social and systemic challenges.

Truth-seeking is driven by the moral asset of humility: it requires us to recognize the limits of our knowledge and be open to new information as it is uncovered. It asks us to use a variety of methods to seek out multiple perspectives and sources of data so that we can gain a fuller understanding of an individual’s experience or a systemic challenge and not be blinded by how we ourselves see the world. It also means that when we gain a new understanding that goes against conventional wisdom, we must use the assets of civility, honesty, empathy and courage to communicate with others and give them the space to process the new information. In this framework, truth-seeking means always being open to learning and reflection.

There are many times when circumstances may not allow us to gain as full an understanding as we would like prior to making decisions. Yet we can still come together around a partial but actionable consensus on a state of affairs and maintain humility in moving forward, aware that our vision may be incomplete or even wholly wrong. Principled Innovation addresses this challenge by emphasizing an iterative path forward in which we balance the deliberate process of pursuing accurate information with the need to address critical social and systemic challenges without delay.

Space, is what others need to process the new truth that we communicate with them.
Truth-seeking means always being open to learning and reflection.

2. Context

Truth-seeking means always being open to learning and reflection.

3. Resources

Select one of our featured resources or visit the PI toolkit library for more tools.

Truth matters: teaching young students to search for the most reasonable answer

  Article

  30 minutes

  By: Alina Reznitskaya and Ian A.G. Wilkinson, Phi Delta Kappan

Unpacking the biases that shape our beliefs

  Video

  11 minutes

  By: Mike Hartmann, TEDx

Deconstructing myths in the classroom

  Article

  30 minutes

  By: Principled Innovation™ (PI)

The danger of a single story

  Video

  60 minutes

  By: Principled Innovation™ (PI)

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