The Case for Teaching Ignorance

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Media Outlet: The New York Times

Presenting ignorance as less extensive than it is, knowledge as more solid and more stable, and discovery as neater also leads students to misunderstand the interplay between answers and questions.

People tend to think of not knowing as something to be wiped out or overcome, as if ignorance were simply the absence of knowledge. But answers don’t merely resolve questions; they provoke new ones.



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Jamie Holmes is a Future Tense Fellow at New America and the author of Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing. Previously, he was a policy analyst within New America’s Global Assets Project.