"the basket appears to sit on his head like a dunce's hat."


Dunce's Hat
Creative Commons AttributionDunce's Hat - Credit: Candie_N

A dunce's hat or cap is associated with stupidity or inferiority. Traditionally, children who were considered to be lacking in intelligence or considered stupid, would be forced to wear the cap in the school classroom, thus singling them out by making them an object of ridicule.

The word dunce comes from the name, John Duns Scotis, whose teachings were a intrinsic part of learning during medieval times. By the 16th century his beliefs had fallen out of fashion and anyone who rejected the new ideas, and insisted on supporting Scotis, came to be labelled dunces by the reformers and humanists, who formed the core of the Renaissance revolution.