by Stephanie McCauley
According to recent research, mistakes and errors actually have the potential to help students learn and remember better, as long as students frame their mistakes within the context of growing with effort.
In one study, students with growth mindsets had larger brain responses when looking at mistakes than their fixed-mindset peers did. This finding suggests that students who believe in effort rather than fixed ability examine their errors more closely, which may aid them in improving their performance.
Claudia Wallis from The Hechinger Report also recently wrote about the learning potential of failure. She explained how recent psychological studies, neuroscience, and growth mindset theory have helped educators and students combat their “allergy to errors.”
In addition to helping students, reflecting on mistakes can be vital to education leaders, as described by Alaina Love in this SmartBrief article. Successful leaders tend to "devote more time to learning from their mistakes than they do celebrating their brilliance." In this way, embracing and using mistakes to further growth mindsets can be helpful for students, teachers, and administrators alike.
For more information about reframing mistakes as learning opportunities at your school, check out the resources below: