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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 21, Issue 1, Spring 2007

Lisa Eaker, Ari Stantas
Pages 117-128

Tempering Tenacity
Peirce, Belief, Education, and Growth

In this paper we shall draw on Peirce’s four methods of fixating belief to provide a template for examining classroom experience. Such a template provides a context for understanding the dynamics that emerge at the intersection of existing belief and new experience. We shall develop several examples of tenacity as an impediment to student growth, discuss traditional responses to the irrationally tenacious student (and teacher), develop Peirce’s four methods in the context of an educational setting, and draw conclusions from his work for educational theory. Our belief is not that tenacity inevitably works against the cultivation of critical awareness, but that this virtue needs to be tempered by a full purview of educational aims and their attending virtues.

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