Focusing on mistakes

Once a month, this column will examine the insights that science offers about the way people learn, and how such findings could influence schools. Most of us can remember a moment like this from our school years: the teacher poses a question – maybe it’s math, maybe history.  You raise your hand, you give your […]

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Failure in college

The presentation is part of a new initiative at Smith, “Failing Well,” that aims to “destigmatize failure.” With workshops on impostor syndrome, discussions on perfectionism, as well as a campaign to remind students that 64 percent of their peers will get (gasp) a B-minus or lower, the program is part of a campuswide effort to […]

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How is failure treated in your district?

An extensive review of employee teams at Google found that the most successful were those with a high level of psychological safety. In other words, when employees felt safe enough to take risks (and make mistakes) without being shamed or criticized, they did better work. “The wisdom of learning from failure is incontrovertible. Yet organizations that […]

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Learning from failure in Super Gridland for iOS

Different video games use failure in different ways. Some use it to shock players and teach them what not to do, while others use death as a punishment for carelessness, recklessness, or some other mistake. Super Gridland, the new mobile RPG-puzzle hybrid from Canadian developer Michael Townsend, treats failure as a journey. With each mistake, you […]

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Learning the wrong helps make it right

Think about our planet for a second. Earth has an elliptical — oval-shaped — orbit. That means we’re closer to the sun for one part of the year and farther away another part of the year. Does that fact explain why it’s hotter in the summer and colder in the winter? Lots of kids think […]

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