Weekly Slides

Open-Mindedness - Week 2

By Jeff Bryan

What I want for you as you move from here is to become free and critical thinkers…by daring to challenge the accepted “truths” that come from our social echo chambers, to help restore the art of informed, intelligent and enlightened debate.

-Lester Holt

For an in-depth overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
  • If you would like to ask questions of, learn from, and share best practices with Partner Schools nationwide, please join our Google+ Community here.
  • For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.
  • To see the 1-page Open-Mindedness Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.

Starting Monday, Partner Schools nationwide are learning about open-mindedness. This character strength is critically important in today’s hyperconnected Information Age. We’re bombarded with more information than ever, which makes you think we’d be more open-minded to a variety of viewpoints.

However, because clicks and shares lead to advertising dollars, much of that information is filtered in a way to show us what we already agree with – leading to ideological echo chambers. As this article and the below video explain, those echo chambers may be dangerous to the future of our unity as a country.

So what is open-mindedness and why does it matter? Open-mindedness is the willingness to actively search for evidence that goes against one’s favored beliefs, plans, or goals. Those demonstrating open-mindedness see the other side and fight the tendency to have a bias for their own views. And, rather than favoring the socially dominant views, they give attention to those that are less dominant.

This character strength helps individuals build knowledge about specific issues or points of view – and provide sound recommendations and advice. Open-minded people do not jump to conclusions. Instead, they seek out and examine all of the available evidence before forming an opinion.

And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page. Enjoy the slides — and please be sure to let us know how it’s going by posting to Twitter and using the #PositivityInAction hashtag!

Jeff Bryan
CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project

Jeff Bryan is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project. In this role, he leads the organization to support educators to empower their students to build positive relationships and become their best selves.