An Application of Economics to Teaching
I have a solution to this problem, an economic solution, although I like to claim that it was inspired by the story of Socrates and the Delphic Oracle.
Well, one day [Chaerephon] went to Delphi, and there he had the impudence to put this question -- do not jeer, gentlemen, at what I am going to say -- he asked, "Is anyone wiser than Socrates?" And the Pythian priestess answered, "No one." Well, I was fully aware that I knew absolutely nothing. So what could the god mean? for gods cannot tell lies. For some time I was frankly puzzled to get at his meaning; but at last I embarked on my quest. I went to a man with a high reputation for wisdom -- I would rather not mention his name; he was one of the politicians -- and after some talk together it began to dawn on me that, wise as everyone thought him and wise as he thought himself, he was not really wise at all. I tried to point this out to him, but then he turned nasty, and so did others who were listening; so I went away, but with this reflection that anyhow I was wiser than this man; for, though in all probability neither of us knows anything, he thought he did when he did not, whereas I neither knew anything nor imagined I did."
I posted on this and some related matters five years ago but thought it worth posting on it again.