Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Ellsberg Paradox, school and trust

Leigh posted "Fear paralysis, Ellsburg paradox and what’s in a name" and referred back to a previous post "What’s in a name? Why some succeed and others fail". Basically the Ellsberg Paradox means that we will tend to choose in favour of things that we know about, hence Leigh's words 'Fear paralysis". He believes that this is a factor that inhibits people choosing FOSS. I agree. People tend to favour the things that they know about and have learnt with which is why it is important that schools provide the chance for students to experience FOSS as well as the proprietary products in school. I think that we should be learning with the free stuff first so that the risk is in taking up the stuff that costs a lot.

As I watched the short video that Leigh pointed to about the Ellsberg Paradox it triggered some thinking about one of the fundamental things we are trying to teach in school. We have this innate mechanism which inhibits our ability to go into the unknown and yet education is really all about taking people into the unknown. Taking a risk, moving into the unknown, conducting experiments and the like. This to me points to the importance of teachers being trust worthy.

In my post "Play with Stuff" I talked about challenging kids and the whole post was about taking risks. I think that having seen the video, the Ellsberg Paradox is the mechanism that we are wanting to play with and learn to control so that we can get to a point where we are more likely to venture into new ground.

As my grandfather often said, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".

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  • At 4:24 am, OpenID Elke said…

    Thanks for another great post.
    I linked to you in my blog.
    'waarom niet?' means 'why not'.
    In Dutch.


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