Educational Systems Theory

Property: Event Uncertainty Degeneration


Educational system event uncertainty degeneration is decrease in event uncertainty (decrease in selective information). (p. 63)


A decrease in the uncertainty of something falling within a particular category is another way to think about event uncertainty degeneration. When things are classified in a system the probability of encountering something which fits into a particular classification increase or decrease depending on the number of items and the number of classifications. The fewer the number of classifications and the more members of that category within the system the is less uncertainty there is that someone will encounter a member of a particular group, thus there is event uncertainty degeneration.



The diagrams above demonstrate event uncertainty degeneration due to a move from heterogeneous to homogeneous grouping by ability level. As seen in figure one, the class initially contains students with a variety of achievement levels. The probability of encountering a high medium or low achieving student is variable. In this case the uncertainty of encountering any student with a particular ability level is 1.42. After homogeneous grouping, the probability of encountering a low achieving student becomes 0%, as the class has no students who exhibit low achievement. Therefore uncertainty has decreased to 0. This decrease in the types of students within a classroom is an example of event uncertainty degeneration. Other examples of event uncertainty degeneration would include a school which ceases to be inclusive, or a school which moves from the Montessori method to a more traditional instructional method where all students learn similar subjects at the same rate. The inclusive school demonstrates event uncertainty degeneration due to the separation of students who have handicapping conditions from the school's regular instructional program. The school which moves towards a traditional instructional method demonstrates event uncertainty degeneration due to the fact that only one subject area is being taught at one time.

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Last updated by Marty Bray, 3/7/95>