How important is it to help students to embrace their mistakes?

Help students embrace mistakes

Over a period of time, we realise that no one is born to be an expert in any field. Certain levels of practice leads people to certain levels of expertise. In the event of execution, there could be stages of practice which is done out of deliberation. In most cases, it involves overlooking what's not working and expertising on what works rather. The tougher side of practicing elevates you to move further up in life, career and other endeavours.

First of all, there is a great need to create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable with accepting their mistakes and understand that it is a normal part of the learning process. On the parallel, you should also teach them the ways to respond to those mistakes.

Giving valuable feedback to students is of utmost need. Maybe you should guide them to learn how to take advantage of the feedback and use it appropriately in a situational context. Providing kind, specific, and helpful feedback is a beneficial activity along with teaching.

Do students mark mistakes as a valuable learning asset?

As per the general study on the subject, it has been widely accepted that committing errors cover a significant portion of the learning process. Nonetheless, fixing emotional attachment to mistakes and getting de-motivated is what students generally tend to do, rather than viewing it rationally. While it forces students into feeling 'stupid', it still remains to be a feeling anyway. More than anything else, it is a feeling of shame and guilt in doing the act. And the natural response is to neglect the source of the act.

Few negative thoughts to battle after committing an error can be like-
Will I be able to fix it? What if the same thing happens again?
If I don't make sure it gets fixed, then why am I working at it?
There's no point in trying again, maybe I am wasting my time..

Mistakes have to be considered as a primitive part of exercising perfection. Classrooms are the best place to work on mistakes. So, try, do and undo, learn and unlearn, to get a hang of doing things better.

There is nothing to feel shy or awkward about the situation that has already occurred. Mistakes could be committed either with careless errors, ignorance of specific directions, insufficient knowledge about something important, not following the rules, or with inappropriate approach taken in solving the actual problem. When you are willing to learn and grow in the space given to you, those mistakes become the concrete reason for corrective measures to stand by. Changing the attitude towards mistakes must be positive.

Few positive thoughts to garner after committing an error can be like-
Let me try again, I think I can fix it.
I'm sure there must be a better way to fix it and get over it.

While assisting students to re-look at their faults, teach them to be genuine and specific about their bugs or errors. Let them understand how to deal with it. Teaching students to embrace their mistakes and to work on it would possibly lead to lesser errors in the future. By doing this, you are actually instilling motivation and constructing a positive relationship with students in the longer run.

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