on agnotology … wha???


Doug Johnson over at the Blue Skunk Blog posted this really interesting article about knowledge and “When more is less: culturally constructed ignorance.”

Agnotology … it’s a great word and one that I’m going to have to remember!

A Range of Sources.
Your students have been researching current diseases and they come into the classroom with information from these sources. Can you help them determine which could be considered the most reliable? Might you as a teacher have a different opinion than some parents about the validity of information from some sources?

  • Center for Disease Control
  • Newsweek

  • The bestseller The Hot Zone
  • Flyers from an insurance company or HMO
  • National Public Radio’s “Science Friday”
    (from Survival Skills for the Information Jungle, Creative Classroom, August 2001.)
  • Rush Limbaugh’s radio talk show
  • Chat room conversation
  • Personal webpage
  • I learned this new word, agnotology, in Clive Thompson’s Wired short article, “How More Info Leads to Less Knowledge.” (Thanks to Colet Bartow in Montana for the recommendation.) It’s worth a read.

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