Trial and Error


Scientific American just published an interesting article dispelling “errorless learning”

“Learning becomes better if conditions are arranged so that students make errors.  Trying and failing to retrieve the answer is actually helpful to learning. It’s an idea that has obvious applications for education, but could be useful for anyone who is trying to learn new material of any kind.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Mistakes are constructive and should be encouraged.

Allowing mistakes in a controlled environment strengthens the learning process significantly.
It was expected in most curriculum right up to the 1990s when Political Correctness reared its ugly head and weakened the system.

I weep for students that are spoon fed and patted on the back never having the opportunity to make a mistake. 
Educators fail their students with this approach.

They are the ones that go on to make large mistakes in the real world, not understanding why they happened, or that they could have been prevented.

That is a mistake that we have learned from and should avoid from repeating.


One thought on “Trial and Error

  1. In Secondary School my English teacher was a nun named Sister Francis. .She had suffered a stroke and her speech was distorted but she loved Shakespeare. She was not particularly kind or pleasant. She had favourites.I wasn’t.
    But she gave a piece of advice,I have never forgotten, along similar lines to this post.
    “If you want to get a quick lesson on something you know nothing about,pick an argument with someone who knows all about it.

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