Education for a “Post-Truth” World: New Directions for Research and Practice

Clark A. Chinn, Sarit Barzilai, Ravit Golan Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the so-called “post-truth” world, there exists widespread confusion and disagreement over what is known, how to know, and who to trust. Current education has largely failed to meet the challenges of this world. Grounded in a new analysis of the goals of epistemic education, we argue for new directions in instruction. Our analysis specifies three components of epistemic cognition that education should address: epistemic aims, ideals, and reliable processes. Apt epistemic performance of these components has five interwoven aspects: cognitive engagement in epistemic performance, adapting performance to diverse contexts, metacognitive regulation and understanding of performance, caring and enjoyment, and participation in performance with others. Using this framework, we show how three emblematic “post-truth” problems stem from specific breakdowns in these five aspects. We then use this analysis to argue for new directions in curriculum, instruction, and research that are needed to promote successful epistemic performance in the “post-truth” landscape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 AERA.


  • cognitive processes/development
  • critical thinking
  • descriptive analysis
  • educational reform
  • instructional design/development
  • learning environments
  • metacognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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