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Introducing The Debunker’s Club

One of my ISPI friends asked a group of us if we’d be willing to help get the word out about The Debunker’s Club.

It’s a new website and group of folks who are banding together to help clean up some of the myths, mistakes, and misinformation that are common in the learning field.

Early “sightings” of The Debunker Club include links to debunking articles, comments about the best ways to point out that something is not supported by research, and notes about learning myths being presented as true (with links).

One of the more advanced interpersonal skills is to disagree with someone. And, telling someone that his or her favorite myth is just that—a myth—can be met with tremendous resistance. It’s difficult for any of us to give up an idea that “sounds right” or that has felt right for a long, long time.

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I prefer not to invoke too many growling responses.

A comment from the site about how to approach debunking ideas without running into a harsh reaction:

…there are several keys to minimizing the potential for backlash…
  1. Always be respectful.
  2. Always be open to being wrong, and admitting this possibility.
  3. Always listening to understand.
  4. Always admitting the small truths that are contained in the larger falsehoods.
  5. Always asking to hear (and post) alternative viewpoints.
  6. Always offering better alternatives then the falsehoods presented.
  7. Always, always, always, doing our due diligence to ensure that we fully comprehend the issues upon which we dare to speak.
~Will Thalheimer

To celebrate “April Fool’s Week,” The Debunker’s Club is taking aim at the idea that “people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, etc..”

Having delivered many presentations about “snake oil” and written a number of myth-busting articles, I applaud this effort. I’m also pleased to see that club members are being urged to tread carefully (treat everyone with respect) while weeding out misinformation and encouraging the use of evidence-based practices.

Take a look at the site. Contribute to the sightings, and if you wish, consider joining The Debunker’s Club.

Resources

Site | The Debunker’s Club

Comments | Sightings

Page | April Fool’s Week

Disclosure: Some links on this site are “affiliate links,” which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something.
  • Tony Moore

    I loved the concept when Will announced it and joined immediately. Then I had a momentary second thought because in my old age, I’ve become less tolerant and more cantankerous. I’ve gotten into the habit of being blunt, to the point, and more than a little sanctimonious.

    But, that moment passed when it occurred to me that following Will’s advice would be a good thing because it’s more likely to achieve the goal of changing behavior, which is difficult to do when my own behavior increases the probability that others will dig in their heels to resist my dragging them unwillingly to my side of the position.

    Thanks for another great post, Jeanne!

    • jeannefarrington

      Thanks, Tony. Great to hear from you. How funny, as I get older, I am (usually) more tolerant than in my younger days—more mellow with time.

      I agree that a challenging approach makes it harder for people to consider a different view.

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