the character of errors

September 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Piaget was struck by the observation that the character of errors made by children held as much as the nature of their correct answers.

L. S. Shulman

Recently we were running a mission¬†fundraiser¬†event that was called ‘Dancing with the staff’.

It involved a student team working with a teacher to learn a dance and then perform in our auditorium.

I was assigned a group of Year 12 students to dance with and there were three key moments in my dancing experience that I’d like to share:

– embarrassment: I am a bad dancer and the first few training sessions were quite difficult. It can be a frustrating experience to want to achieve a goal and then to not be able to reach that goal.

– hard work: while I didn’t improve my dancing skills very much, my confidence certainly did grow as I was encouraged by my student team and as I put in the hours.

– satisfaction: the final product was a performance in front of 500 students and teachers. Our team finished in last place but it was so satifying to have been part of the event and have a great time.

So now I’m thinking, do I apply this model when I’m working with students who may be in the exact postition in my class?

What strategies am I using to help students learn from their mistakes?

How am I helping students, with a variety of learning styles, to work hard?

Indepdent of grades, am I helping students to find enjoyment and engagement with their learning?


This was the performance from one of my colleagues




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