Welcome to the

ThoughtStretchers Community

ThoughtStretchers is a heterodox community of educators looking to cut through the noise of tribalism to think more deeply about important and complex problems in education.

“Do not block the way of inquiry.” ― Charles S. Peirce

Join the Community!

K12 Education is increasingly faced with rising polarization that is making it more difficult to find productive paths forward and improved educational outcomes. ThoughtStretchers is meant to be a reality-based community where nuance and complexity are highlighted in pursuit of better understandings and better outcomes for students.

The noisiest voices of the illiberal extremes are dominating our ‘dialogue’, blocking the way of inquiry, critical thinking, and problem- solving. The more sensible majority yearns for a more pluralistic approach, seeking and honoring a diversity of opinion.

ThoughtStretchers hopes to help break through this noise with:

  • written and video content
  • online events
  • asynchronous groups and forums
  • a social media style feed for connections and conversation

Together we’ll engage in relentless advocacy for approaching important problems in education with the liberal science approach that our democratic ideals depend on. Let’s take back the ‘conversations’ together!

ThoughtStretchers will be guided by two core rules and ten commitments.

Rule #1 The fallibilist rule: No one gets the final say. You may claim that a statement is established as knowledge only if it can be debunked, in principle, and only insofar as it withstands attempts to debunk it.

Rule #2 The empirical rule: No one has personal authority. You may claim that a statement has been established as knowledge only insofar as the method to check it gives the same result regardless of the identity of the checker, and regardless of the source of the statement.

Ten Commitments:


The ethos that any of us might be wrong thus we strive to have our ideas remain open to criticism.


Understanding that truth is not based on feeling, identity, or a person/group’s lived experience.


A commitment to the idea of objective reality because what lies beyond that is chaos.  


A commitment that all ideas and viewpoints are subject to challenge by the community.  


A commitment to offering our ideas for critique in good faith and acknowledging when we’re wrong.


Valuing viewpoint diversity and a commitment to encouraging, and seeking it out.


A commitment to discourage and avoid personal attacks and instead depersonalize rhetoric.


A commitment to valuing the credentials and reputation of those in the reality-based community.


A commitment to valuing and relying upon established norms and codes of conduct.

No Bullshitting

A commitment to behaving with sincere regard for the truth instead of obscuring it.
ThoughtStretchers rejects these three “great untruths” that have become prominent in education and beyond:

  1. What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker
  2. Always trust your feelings
  3. Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

“If we care about knowledge, freedom, and peace, then we need to stake a strong claim: anyone can believe anything, but liberal science—open-ended, depersonalized checking by an error-seeking social network—is the only legitimate validator of knowledge, at least in the reality-based community.” –Jonathan Rauch, The Constitution of Knowledge, 2021



Creating a Culture of Conversation: Objective Pluralism

Looking for help in building a better understanding of the pressures of culture war issues and how teachers, leaders, and all stakeholders can navigate them in a productive way?


Recommended Reads

Books we like because they challenge our thinking, help us understand, and reinforce the practice of liberal science.

The Constitution of Knowledge

Kindly Inquisitors

The Coddling of the American Mind

The Humanity Archive

How Teaching Happens

Visible Learning: The Sequel

I Never Thought Of It That Way

High Conflict

Get in touch:
502 373-0040

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