Episode 53: Teaching Difficult Knowledge with Jim Garrett

In episode 53, Michael and Dan discuss teaching difficult knowledge with Jim Garrett. One of the first things that we do is discuss what, exactly is difficult knowledge.

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Books, articles, lessons, and other amazing resources

  1. Check out Jim’s new book!
    1. Garrett, H.J. (2017) Learning to be in the World with Others: Difficult Knowledge and Social Studies Education. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.

  2. Wondering about people’s resistance to facts (that Jim referenced), check out:
    1. Alcorn, M. (2013). Resistance to learning: Overcoming the desire not to know in classroom teaching. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.
  3. Want to learn more even more political science? Check out:
    1. Flynn, D. J., Nyhan, B., & Reifler, J. (2017). The nature and origins of misperceptions: Understanding false and unsupported beliefs about politics. Political Psychology38(S1), 127-150
    2. Nyhan, B., & Reifler, J. (2010). When corrections fail: The persistence of political misperceptions. Political Behavior32(2), 303-330.
  4. To learn more about difficult knowledge, check out:
    1.  Britzman, D. P. (1998). “That lonely discovery”: Anne Frank, Anna Freud, and the question of pedagogy. Lost subject, contested objects: Toward a psychoanalytic inquiry of learning. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
    2. Britzman, D. P. (2000b). If the story cannot end: Deferred action, ambivalence, and difficult knowledge. In R. I. Simon, C. Eppert, & S. Rosenberg (Eds.),
    3. Between hope and despair: Pedagogy and the remembrance of historical trauma (pp. 27–58). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
    4. Pitt, A., & Britzman, D. (2003). Speculations on qualities of difficult knowledge in teaching and learning: An experiment in psychoanalytic research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 16(6), 755–776.
    5. Simon, R. I. (2014). A pedagogy of witnessing: Curatorial practice and the pursuit of social justice. Albany, NY: SUNY Press
  5. Want to read Jim’s article he wrote for Theory & Research in Social Education? Check out:
    1. Garrett, H. J. (2011). The routing and re-routing of difficult knowledge: Social studies teachers encounter When the Levees Broke.  Theory & Research in Social Education39(3), 320-347.
  6. Some articles/books about Discussion  & Controversial Issues:
    1. Hess, D. E., & McAvoy, P. (2014). The political classroom: Evidence and ethics in democratic education. New York, NY: Routledge.
    2. Hess, D. E. (2009). Controversy in the classroom: The democratic power of discussion. New York, NY: Routledge
    3. Parker, W. C., & Hess, D. (2001). Teaching with and for discussion. Teaching and teacher education17(3), 273-289


H. Jim Garret is an education professor at the University of Georgia. You can contact Jim on Twitter @HJamesGarrett or check out his website at the University of Georgia. Also, check out his new book!

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