Home > Creativity, Military, Planning, Teaching, Uncertainty > Designing education for uncertainty

Designing education for uncertainty


Being comfortable with being uncomfortable is turning out to be an essential element of our curriculum.  Our officers are routinely being put into situations where their training is not helpful or where it can even be counterproductive.  They’ll have to rely on the principles we have educated them on (rather than training) and their own on-the-spot judgment.

It is an interesting design problem to figure out how to create classroom conditions that allow us to experience planning and decision making under uncertainty, which we then cant easily assess to see if we got it right. It represents a large cultural challenge to shift to a world view that encourages us to end the class with a question mark (uncertainty and reflection) rather than  an exclamation point! (the right answer!)

It’s getting to the point that we have to be on the look out for an excessive amount of confidence in our conclusions. This doesn’t mean we dispense with professional solutions and sound judgment, only that we have to remain humble enough, and alert enough to know thelimits of any tentative conclusion or plan we develop.  we know that constant change in the world means we have to have iterative planning and decisionmaking processes, linked up to robust sensing processes that constantly evaluate the fit of our mental  constructions (plans , assumptions, world views, “successful” endstates, measures of effectiveness etc) and the world around us.

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