A school hat used as punishment
A Dunce Hat, also variously known as a dunce cat, dunce’s cap, or dunce’s hat, is a pointed hat. A Dunce Hat is made of paper, marked with a D or the word ‘Dunce’, and used to humiliate and punish schoolchildren for misbehaviour or stupidity.
While this is now an extremely rare practice, it is frequently depicted in popular culture in cartoons.
In Europe, a similar paper hat known as donkey’s ears was used as a symbol of ‘asinine’ stupidity.