Chapter 19 in: Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change
edited by: Arjen E.J. Wals and Peter Blaze Corcoran
This chapter describes the urgent need for enhancing 'uncertainty competences' in children due to the complex (environmental) challenges that face humanity. Young children are already confronted with knowledge uncertainty. It is important to teach them how to deal with it. A model is presented showing different pathways a learner can take while confronted with the need to make a decision in the presence of too little, enough or too much knowledge uncertainty. Nine competences are distinguished that help a person to tolerate and to reduce knowledge (un)certainty: being able to accept not knowing what will happen; reflect on one's own or other's beliefs and being able to change personal beliefs; find and evaluate information; judge the credibility and cognitive authority of information sources; reason; respond in accordance with the underlying probabilities; assess one's own ability to achieve a desired outcome; engage a supportive network; formulate a plan of action to deal with uncertainty. The role of education in enhancing these competences is explored. Promising learning methods are discussed per competence. Suggestions are made for further research, including the need to analyse children?s frames, devise measuring tools, and examine the maturational components of the development of uncertainty competences.