I think we can all agree that we make mistakes. As a matter of fact, mistakes are a key part of the learning process. You could even say that mistakes are one of the most important things that happen in any classroom.
So, if mistakes are so valuable then why do students view them as a negative? It’s simple, students think of mistakes on an emotional level. Mistakes can make them feel stupid, embarrassed, or inadequate, all of which are feelings. When students find themselves in this negative space, learning stops.
Imagine a classroom where students embrace making mistakes and are constantly improving. That’s every educators dream! Instead, we are faced with students living in fear of making mistakes, causing them to disengage from the learning process and thinking that they can’t learn the skill set at hand.
What if we could teach students to embrace their mistakes? What if we could help students shift their paradigm about mistakes? The good news is we can! Share with your students that mistakes are a good thing and that they are helpful. Share with your students that we all go through a natural learning curve when we learn a new process or a new skill set.
The learning curve is a four step process:
By helping students shift their perspective about the learning process and how mistakes are a critical part of that process, they will begin to remove the fear, have a new relationship with mistakes, and start embracing the journey of becoming lifelong learners.