ERIC Number: ED050035
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: 0
Overcoming Secondary Ignorance: Learning To Be Uncertain.
Sieber, Joan E.
This paper defines secondary ignorance as "not knowing that one does not know" and goes on to discuss the prevalence of secondary ignorance among school children. It describes a study in which a group of elementary school children were asked to find solutions to problematic situations and to indicate on a five-point scale how certain they were that their answer was correct. Despite a wide variation in answers, each child asserted that he was completely certain that he was correct. A method is outlined whereby teachers can show children how to identify situations in which it is appropriate to be uncertain of the correct answer. This method involves identifying simple situations in which it can be demonstrated that the correct answer is not known but that educated guesses can be made, and rewarding the generation of various response alternatives to given problem situations. Students should then be helped to decide which alternative seems most likely to be correct on the basis of the information they have, and how much certainty is warranted for that alternative. (RT)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching.