Virtuous Practice

How good is your hindsight?

It’s easy to feel knowledgeable about an event after it has happened. “Monday’s expert” will tell you all about how the weekend’s game was lost and how it should have been won. The best decisions or the real reasons seem obvious in retrospect. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. But what if it wasn’t? What […]

What’s the value of a mistake?

On its own, a mistake has no value. The value and learning potential come not from the mistake itself, but from the way we act on it. To achieve learning and extract value from a mistake, we must follow psychologist Anders Ericsson’s 3 Fs: • Focus: To recognise a learning opportunity. • Feedback: To understand […]

Mistakes and other Signposts for Learning

There’s a lot of talk these days about mistakes. We now know the important role mistakes have in learning. Rather than seeing mistakes as markers of limitations or inabilities, we see them as signposts for future learning. But with so much focus on mistakes, have we lost sight of other signposts? Mistakes are often easy […]

Not all Effort is Created Equal

I am increasingly of the belief that we should ban the word “effort” from the classroom. Praising effort has become all the rage in education—all in the name of Growth Mindsets. The argument goes something like this: If we praise students for their ability or achievements we detract from the importance of their efforts. So […]

Mistakes about Mistakes

There’s a lot of talk these days about mistakes. Should teachers be encouraging students to make mistakes? Should we celebrate mistakes? Are mistakes good or bad? I want to try and put the record straight about mistakes and clear up some of the mistakes I’ve noticed about mistakes. In his blog “Not all Mistakes are […]