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Navigating Beliefs: A Learning Course for Rational Conversations

Are you ready to change your conversations for the better?

This course offers a comprehensive yet concise approach to mastering conversational techniques, requiring no prior knowledge in communication theory. With its practical learning material, you can directly apply new skills to real-life situations, enhancing your daily interactions on difficult or contentious topics. This FREE COURSE is timely and accessible, presenting information in an informal, easy-to-learn manner, catering to a wide audience.

Phase I of this self-directed course takes roughly four to five hours in total to complete.

Its versatility and emphasis on critical thinking not only enhances communication skills but also contributes to personal and intellectual growth, encouraging curiosity and compassion. Available online and on mobile devices, the self-paced nature of this course ensures flexibility, allowing you to progress at your own pace. By the end of this course, you will emerge as a smarter, more thoughtful communicator, ready to navigate complex conversations about beliefs with confidence.

Here’s a breakdown of Phase I of Navigating Beliefs.

Start Here: The Course Foreword
An introduction to the course and what you need to know to get the most out of it.

Module 1: What is Street Epistemology?
Find out what Street Epistemology is, the key steps of Street Epistemology and how they work together, the main qualities of Street Epistemology, and a brief history of the approach.

Module 2: Why Use Street Epistemology?
Learn which goals you should and could pursue when doing Street Epistemology.

Module 3: Considering Ethics
Discover the ethical principles to adhere to when doing Street Epistemology.

Module 4: Having the Right Mindset
Explore the ideal mindsets for Street Epistemology, as well as techniques to develop them.

Module 5: Preparing to Do Street Epistemology
What factors do we need to consider and practically prepare for prior to doing Street Epistemology?

Module 6: Building and Maintaining Rapport
Learn how to build and maintain rapport, develop skills that assess and track rapport, avoid actions likely to break rapport, and recover lost rapport.

Who made this course? 

This course is the product of a comprehensive, multi-year collaboration initiated by Street Epistemology International, a leading organization dedicated to advancing the practice of Street Epistemology. A team of experts from across the globe with thousands of hours of practical conversational experience, have come together to create this unique learning experience. These practitioners, skilled in the art of conversational techniques, have carefully condensed their practical knowledge and expertise into the course’s content, ensuring it is both comprehensive and accessible.

This course is self-directed, allowing you to navigate through the material at your own pace, fostering a personal and in-depth understanding of the subject matter. It smoothly incorporates current principles drawn from a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, science, and communications theory, ensuring a well-rounded approach to Street Epistemology. In order to bolster its effectiveness and relevance, the course has undergone rigorous focus-group testing, engaging individuals both familiar and unfamiliar with the conversational techniques of Street Epistemology. This detailed development process ensures that this course stands as a testament to the commitment and expertise of Street Epistemology International and the dedicated team of practitioners who have played a pivotal role in its creation.

Is this course for me? 

This course provides an abundance of benefits, equipping you with the necessary skills to navigate through conversations with ease and confidence. By immersing yourself in the principles and techniques of Street Epistemology, you will learn how to foster an environment conducive to open and productive dialogue, applicable across various settings—from casual interactions with friends and family to more structured discussions in professional and academic spheres.

Additionally, the self-directed nature of the course allows you to progress at your own pace, ensuring a thorough and personalized understanding of the content. It also cultivates your critical thinking and self-reflection skills, aiding you in sharpening your analytical abilities and becoming more aware of your own thought processes and biases. This journey doesn’t just enhance your conversational skills; it also enriches your sense of self-awareness and intellectual humility, setting the stage for ongoing learning and personal development.

What's the word on the street?

Since the launch of the Navigating Beliefs course project in late 2020, I have been deeply involved in its development. The course was crafted with meticulous effort, expertise, and care by dozens of dedicated Street Epistemology experts and volunteers from around the world, each bringing varying levels of understanding of SE. This project stands out as one of the most important and fulfilling endeavors I've ever been part of. Street Epistemology provides a transformative approach to exploring beliefs, fostering thoughtful reflection that can lead to genuine changes in perspective. This method moves us beyond frustrating and fruitless arguments, helping to make a meaningful difference. If you're looking for a new way to discuss beliefs that prioritizes compassion and clarity, I highly recommend this course. It's the resource I wish had been available when I first started learning about Street Epistemology.

— Anthony Magnabosco, a founder and current Executive Director of Street Epistemology International

After years of talking with science deniers, I know first-hand that ramming facts down someone doesn't work; building trust does. And nothing builds trust like calm, patient, civil, face-to-face conversation. The techniques of Street Epistemology are an effective and respectful way to approach disagreement. While the science is still emerging, the evidence is already clear. Motivational interviewing. Active listening. Deprogramming people from cults. All the way back to Socrates in Athens, a select few have known the secret. You can't change someone's mind against their will. But if you listen to them, often they'll listen back, and sometimes -- in the space that's created through respectful dialogue -- belief change can happen. I highly recommend this new course in Street Epistemology. Take a look....the first mind you change may be your own.

— Lee McIntyre, Ph.D., author of HOW TO TALK TO A SCIENCE DENIER

What if you could turn everyday conversations into deeply meaningful encounters? Well, it turns out you can—and the results can be life-changing. This terrific guide to “street epistemology” will teach you how to establish rapport, focus the conversation on an interesting learning opportunity, and gently move the conversation into deep and fascinating waters. Learn how to have difficult conversations, provoke reflection, and leave your counterpart feeling heard, validated, stimulated, and enlightened. Street epistemology can help you become a living antidote to the shallowness, loneliness, and alienation of our fast-moving world.

— Andy Norman, cognitive scientist, author of Mental Immunity and Chief Catalyst of the Mental Immunity Project

We need to find ways to have rational conversations, and Street Epistemology offers a practical solution. This course is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to learn how to encourage others to question their reasoning, while keeping things civil.

— Donald Robertson, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

I discovered Street Epistemology at a time of great frustration. I was a former Christian eager to challenge my former faith, yet my interactions with believers were consistently awful. I would burst into the exchange with a list of counter-apologetics, my interlocutor would assume a fight-or-flight defense posture, tempers would flare, and everyone would stomp away angry. Minds were never opened or changed...including my own. SE slowed me down. It encouraged patience. It activated my empathy centers. It trained me to lead (and follow up) with good faith questions. Rather than rushing into a one-on-one with a long list of bullet points, I realized the power of pacing myself, listening, and carefully monitoring the temperature of conversations to keep things from boiling over. This has been transformative. SE continues to help me realize the difference between trying to win...and trying to see the best ideas win.

— Seth Andrews, Host - The Thinking Atheist

I was introduced to Street Epistemology years ago and thought it was a solid communication strategy for helping someone to think critically. Since meeting Anthony Magnabosco and his team and getting to work with them in making suggestions about how to educate and inform the public about SE, I was more than a little impressed with how open they were to feedback and how intent they were on creating the best possible resource kit for people to learn and understand one another. Now that this has been codified and put into a learning management system so anyone can take this at their own pace, I cannot recommend this course in Street Epistemology enough. There literally are not strong enough words in the English language to express my feelings about how important this work is, and how revolutionary it could be to changing our social discourse.

— Chris Shelton, author and podcaster for The Sensibly Speaking Podcast

If you’ve ever struggled to have productive conversations, you’re in luck! The experts at Street Epistemology have spent years figuring out what works (and what doesn’t) and their new course will help you master their methodology. You’ll learn how to reason collaboratively, reach more reliable conclusions, and improve your thinking skills… all while maintaining a cordial environment. The course is clear, organized, and free!

— Melanie Trecek-King, Director of Education, Thinking is Power