Grading Learning

Making #mistakes can be healthy for #learning in school

The importance of getting that A+!
The importance of getting that A+!


On Edutopia’s Social and Emotional Blog, a recent piece, Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes, was written by Hunter Maats and Katie O’Brien. Thinking of some of our Design Teams in Atlanta K12 Design Challenge (@AK12DC), exploring the idea of how to change school culture so that parents, students and teachers think differently about the value of making mistakes on the learning journey.  Other Design Teams are working on challenges that involve student learning, their motivation and engagement. Engaging a student is about helping him or her first feel safe in their learning space, freeing him or her up from the pressure of being right, having the right answer, or pleasing parents, teachers and schools with good grades. If we want them to embrace mistakes we have to do two things: (1) remodel for them that mistakes are part of learning; and (2) create structures that do not penalize students for making mistakes. This will be a tall order for schools built on a feedback system that is about organizing students on a scale from failing to succeeding.  If any of us are put on a scale from failing to succeeding and reminded daily of our position, then we too would struggle embracing mistakes as part of learning.  Let’s put ourselves into our “students shoes,” experience what they experience when it comes to constantly being graded and put on a scale.  Who likes that?  We shouldn’t be surprised by the results of our actions.  But we can change the culture in our schools if we rethink our assessment and grading policies and practices.  Are you ready?


2 comments on “Making #mistakes can be healthy for #learning in school

  1. So true so true so true! I’ve been trying to convey this message for years!!!!


    • Thanks for reading! I agree this work to change assessment cultures in schools is critical if we want students to learn how to be innovators and creative thinkers. These skills require that students embrace the idea that mistakes are part of the process. Be well!


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