Answers... & Ambiguity LO6636

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
12 Apr 96 04:06:56 EDT

Replying to LO6562 --

Peter Cooper says:

While it seems that the link between education and tolerance of ambiguity
is a reasonable one to make, I would suggest that it is not a
unidirectional causal relationship. Tolerance of ambiguity can and is
developed through the learning process but could one also suggest that
learning is, in part, a process of managing ambiguity. The concept of
cognitive dissonance speaks to the issue most eloquently.

If the relationship between culture and ambiguity is also valid, it gives
pause for thought about the impact of culture on the ability to learn and
the structure of the educational system on the ability to learn. Is it
possible that some structures, which attempt to minimize ambiguity are

----- End quote ---

Peter, can you spell out the first paragraph more thoroughly? It's an
interesting thought. How is tolerance of ambiguity impacting education?
I think I understand you, but...

Regarding the second paragraph, it is clear to me that structures that
attempt to minimize -- or worse, deny -- ambiguity when it really does
exist are not only counterproductive, but actually unhealthy. Just attend
any school board meeting when they are discussing ambiguous topics, and
watch how strongly people-- citizens -- take positions. The greater the
ambiguity, the more extreme the certainty of some participants.


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc.

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