Get Phones Out of Schools Now by Jonathan Haidt

July 9, 2023

After stumbling on a Jonathan Haidt Ted Talk and then reading The Rightous Mind, it became clear that Haidt was on to something that was describing our current culture in America.

Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist and author, has made significant contributions in describing and analyzing the current situation in America. Haidt's work focuses on understanding moral psychology, political ideologies, and the factors that shape our beliefs and behaviors.

One of Haidt's key concepts is the moral foundations theory, which suggests that moral values are based on six innate moral foundations: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation, and liberty/oppression. Haidt argues that different political and ideological groups prioritize and emphasize these moral foundations differently, leading to clashes and misunderstandings.

In relation to where America is today, Haidt has provided insights into its origins and impact. He suggests that the rise of our critical theories is a result of a shift in moral focus, where social justice concerns, such as combating inequality and promoting inclusivity, have become dominant moral values for some individuals and groups. This shift has led to increased polarization and a culture of moral righteousness, where those who hold differing views are often vilified and marginalized.

Haidt also highlights the impact of social media and online echo chambers in amplifying and reinforcing certain ideological beliefs. These platforms can create filter bubbles that insulate individuals from diverse perspectives, further fueling polarization and a lack of understanding between different ideological camps.

In describing the "woke" movement, Haidt emphasizes the importance of viewpoint diversity and intellectual humility. He argues for the need to foster a culture of open dialogue and respectful disagreement, where individuals can engage in constructive conversations across ideological lines.

His research encourages us to strive for a more inclusive and intellectually humble society, where diverse perspectives are valued and respectful dialogue can take place.

This Atlantic peice explores the impact of cell phones in the classroom and is worth a read.

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