Are we afraid to let students fail?
Submitted by Kathy_Tracey on October 13, 2016 - 11:32am
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A recent blog post, Are We Afraid to Let Students Make Mistakes, Maryellen Weimer discusses the challenge teachers experience when letting students make mistakes. While we know the learning gains made from mistakes, educators may feel “responsible for protecting and controlling student learning experiences.” The research Weimer discusses deals with science-based inquiry, but she believes the same concerns exist in all instructional environments. If learning goes off target, the student may not reach their intended goals or even stop participating in the program.
Additionally, failure can cause setbacks because learning from mistakes is not automatic. In addition to the learning outcomes, teachers struggle with lack of time. It may take several mistakes to ‘get it right’. There is a great deal of content to cover in order to help a student reach their goals, so we closely lead the experience, rather than giving students time to make mistakes and approach the topic from another, experienced lens.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel as though you have time to let your students make mistakes when learning? Do you struggle with the time involved in time? I'd love to hear your thoughts?