Everything I Learned in School About Being Wrong Is Wrong

Teachers reinforce that making mistakes will get you a dunce cap. Shouldn't it be getting you a gold star instead? 


I make a lot of mistakes. I’m wrong probably about half of the time, and I might even be wrong about that. Often we are quick to point out when others are incorrect, but if we miss our own mistakes, we’re missing an opportunity to learn. That’s one of the problems facing the education system, an issue discussed in a recent article by education expert Peter DeWitt. Teachers are giving students answers instead of letting them figure it out, and when they don’t have the chance to explore and possibly be wrong, they’re not learning.

John Hattie, a preeminent education researcher at Visible Learning, says that one of the most positive environments to foster learning and comprehension is when “errors and trust are welcomed as opportunities to learn.” Creating a classroom culture of accepting failure instead of dismissing it may be the best thing a teacher can do.

Lawrence Krauss passionately defends the idea that teaching facts and teaching critical thinking are not the same things — at all.

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