Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Power of Mistakes

Every time a student makes a mistake in math, they grow a synapse. (14)

It this is true then we are missing out on the one of the greatest teaching tools we have available to at no extra charge. I teach math but I hate it when someone tells me when I am talking about something mathematical, 'That's easy for you because you are a math person'. Excuse me. I am not a math person. I am an educator first. I struggle with math just like the next person, but the difference in me and the person next to me is that I am not afraid of making mistakes.

Making mistakes was not something that I have always embraced. In fact, I have spent most of my life trying not to make any mistakes for fear of being yelled at or viewed as inferior. It has only been recently that I have changed that mindset and, in fact, it has been with the change of that mindset that I have discovered how much I have learned. I feel that in the past couple of years when I gave myself permission to start making mistakes, I have learned more than I have in most of my entire adult life. That is amazing.

If we believe that we can learn, and that mistakes are valuable, our brains grow to a greater extent when we make a mistake. (17)

Mathematical Mindsets: Unleashing Students' Potential through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching by Jo Boaler Follow @joboaler on Twitter 

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