Mistakes are a part of the learning process. It is unrealistic to master any skill or acquire knowledge without making a lot of mistakes.
However, all of us – both adults and schoolchildren – have been accustomed since childhood that it is bad to make mistakes, because our school system is built in such a way that they are more likely to quarrel over incorrect answers than to see them as an opportunity for success. Meanwhile, if you take a constructive approach to the analysis of your own mistakes, the strategy of finding the right solution will linger in the mind longer than the usual memorization of the solution algorithm.
How to help students learn to appreciate their own mistakes, and most importantly, learn from them? Consider how mistakes can stimulate learning.
Increase student motivation by responding to his mistakes
Explain to students that it is normal to make mistakes, the main thing is to work on gaps in their own knowledge and make efforts to develop appropriate skills to prevent the recurrence of identical situations in the future. After all, analysis and work on one’s own mistakes is a movement along one’s own trajectory towards personal progress in learning.
At this time, the student must understand and feel that his efforts are important, they directly affect the increase of their own awareness and competence. Such experience forms purposefulness and understanding that its success depends exclusively on it, namely on diligence and efforts.
Let the students make mistakes
In order for students to learn from their mistakes, they need to be allowed to do so! Therefore, explain that mistakes made while learning the material are not at all embarrassing and extremely useful, because they clearly show what you need to work on to improve your knowledge.
In contrast, every mistake in the final work, the purpose of which is to test knowledge on the topic, will have negative consequences, because it indicates a shortcoming.
Create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom so that students are not ashamed to make mistakes and at the same time motivate everyone to improve their personal level of knowledge.
Encourage students to correct their mistakes on their own
The ability to find and correct mistakes on their own immediately after they have been made has a positive effect on students’ motivation to improve their own performance.
Thus, the reward for performance in the form of high marks remains an important motivation, while constructive work on their mistakes is the basis of learning.
Give feedback in a timely manner
It is easier for a student to track his or her own performance if he or she receives systematic and timely feedback from the teacher.
In order for the learning process to be most effective, it is best to organize the stages of mastering the topic in the following sequence: acquaintance with the theory → practical skills and awareness of learning material → making mistakes → getting feedback from the teacher → analyzing their own mistakes and rehearsing. The ideal situation is if the student receives feedback, as far as he is on the right track, immediately after receiving the first practical results of the development of theoretical material in practice.
Explain that mistakes are by understanding the principles of anything
Working on mistakes contributes to a deeper immersion in the topic of study. So by pointing out mistakes, try to guide the student to find, understand and eliminate the cause of their occurrence. Explain that a mistake is a reason to understand the cause and effect and at the same time a stepping stone to personal success.
Treat mistakes as a clue to the teacher
Mistakes are not just mistakes. They give the teacher an idea of the level of awareness and attention of each individual student. For example, a mistake can be a manifestation of inattention, but if it is systemic in nature, it already indicates gaps in knowledge, which in turn is the subject of analysis, which is what hinders the learning of the student. The nature of the errors also indicates whether the student is able to relate previously acquired knowledge to previous topics in the new environment.
All this information provides a basis for the teacher on how to build lessons in a way that takes into account the individual performance of students. If you respond correctly and in a timely manner to students’ mistakes and teach students to learn from them, the mistakes themselves are extremely useful!