If you have heard the phrase that “we learn from our mistakes” you may wonder why mistakes are unacceptable in schools. The very places that we go to learn. In school, the more mistake you make the more you are scorned. Only the students that happen to give the teacher the exact answer that they want seems to succeed in the current system. However, this is not how learning works in the real world. When we make mistakes we learn not to repeat them and we find out what does work and what does not work.
According to (Tugend, 2011) in our current education system, children are more concerned with grades than they are with learning. This causes the supposedly smart students to take less risks in order to get better grades. Students that take more risks are punished with bad grades. So in other words (Tugend, 2011) is saying that the only way to do well in our current flawed education system is to take on behaviors that conflict with learning.
Many subjects taught in school could actually be learned better if mistakes were allowed according to (Donaldson, 2013). For example: science, in the real world is about gathering data. Data is still useful even if the experiment gives you results that do not match your expectations (Donaldson, 2013). (Donaldson, 2013) also says that even subjects as precise as math has gained new useful breakthroughs because of ideas that were once considered wrong.
(Maats and O’Brien, 2014) state that often times students view mistakes as an endless cycle of failures. Students see bad grades and assume that they are worthless and stupid (Maats and O’Brien, 2014). (Maats and O’Brien) also state that learning can be improved if students instead view their mistakes as lessons to be improved upon.
The education system should rethink the way it views mistakes. Mistakes are useful. Mistakes bring new ideas and breakthroughs. Punishing mistakes does nothing but encourage the status quo, and discourage creativity. If students were encouraged to learn rather than be told what is right and what is wrong from teachers, who are not actually all knowing, they could reach their full creative potential. Students should be encouraged to view mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve. They should not have to see mistakes as evidence of inferiority.
Tugend, A. (2011, September) The role of mistakes in the classroom. Retrieved from:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/benefits-mistakes-classroom-alina-tugend
Donaldson, C. (2013, September) Benefits of failure: why making mistakes in schools is a must. Retrieved from:http://www.education.com/magazine/article/five-subjects-failure-underrated/
Maats, H., O’Brien, K. (2014, March) Teaching students to embrace mistakes. Retrieved from:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teaching-students-to-embrace-mistakes-hunter-maats-katie-obrien