A. "10 Ways to Honor Mistakes in the Learning Process" (post) starts with the assumption that "[m]istakes can be excellent learning opportunities" and suggests ways "we [can] use learning errors to our advantage."
- "We might allow extra time for class problem solving or focus on more challenging examples."
- "Errors often result in increased knowledge."
- "Controlling where and how these errors occur is an option."
B. Ways to Honor Mistakes
1. "Instead of discouraging errors, educators should find ways to support individual learning processes."
- "[F]ocus on encouraging students to think of their mind as flexible, and support individual responsibility."
- Do not "suppress problem solving and ... make students feel that mistakes are a sign of lesser intelligence."
2. "Accept mistakes as part of the learning process."
"[R]ealiz[e] that errors can be used as learning tools ... [and] use them correctly."
- "Some students resort to memorization, rather than risk making errors."
- "But something is lost if education does not allow students time to try things on their own."
- "[W]e must reconsider why we aren’t letting students make their own mistakes."
3. "Achieving mastery should be the goal."
- "[T]he process of learning a concept is just as important as the concept itself."
- "Mastery produces learning that is meaningful."
4. "Use mistakes as part of a discovery process that engages students."
"Allowing time for individual exploration will create opportunities where failures may occur, but they can be used as a tool."
- "[P]repare students to learn on their own in an open-ended way."
- "Us[e] interactive exercises ... [to] gauge student understanding."
5. "Focus on self-paced learning strategies whenever possible."
"Media can be used to incorporate self-paced learning in the classroom, where students complete lectures at home, and ‘homework’ examples in [class]."
- "This ... switches the focus of learning to problem solving."
- "The gaps must be bridged before students can move on to the next skill."
6. "Technology can turn errors into teachable moments."
Using student examples and/or mistakes in class (without their names to avoid embarrassment) can ...
- "[S]how divergent thinking and how students might approach a problem differently"
- "[M]ake students realize that [mistakes] are an acceptable part of the learning process"
- "[H]elp bridge learning connections."
7. "Use immediate feedback to reduce frustration."
- "Immediate feedback from mistakes in learning can actually be a powerful learning motivator."
- "The teacher can serve as a resource that helps students find answers on their own."
8. "Accept that learning is a messy process."
- "[L]earning is non-linear ... allow room for individual differences."
- "By allowing students to make errors, they can better assimilate information to their needs and learning styles."
9. "Rather than resorting to memorization, allow students time to practice in class."
- "They may discover that their weaknesses are just different ways of approaching a subject."
- "[Mistakes] are part of a greater learning process that is individual to each learner."
10. "See learners as apprentices."
a. "An apprentice works for years under a Master until he is ready to complete the task on his own."
- "He is allowed to make mistakes, and even encouraged to do so."
- "After learning the basic skills from the master, an apprentice is often required to design a complex project on their own that showcases their unique skills."
b. "Errors are considered part of the process of being a novice."
- "The trainee eventually develops his own style and point of view."
- "After many trials, the apprentice becomes the master."