“What comes to mind when you hear the words error or mistake?” As students brainstorm and throw out their many responses and reactions to this question, a specific course for instruction takes shape.
How can we move forward with our learning when we are terrified of making mistakes? From parents, teachers and from society in general, we receive mixed messages regarding this theme. We are told that it is critical to make mistakes in order to learn, but at the same time, are told that we should avoid making mistakes at all cost. How can we decipher which message to adopt? In this world, there are no rewards, no prizes given for mistakes. And so, we strive for perfection, but never quite make the mark. In this manner, we often feel defeated, deflated, like a failure.
We must change this mindset if we want our kids to be contributing members of society who discover innovative ideas and solutions to address the world’s most challenging problems. Let’s teach them to embrace their mistakes, analyze them carefully and work through them to find a solution. If we are empowered by determination, perseverance and a commitment to try and try again, when at first we don’t succeed, we will discover who we are and what we have to offer the world.