Virtuous Practice

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 what […]

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 […]

Experience vs Expertise

Should the people who’ve been in the job the longest be paid the most money? This is the way many businesses work. Employers pay their staff an annual increment based on their years of employment, even if the role hasn’t changed. Experience, so the saying goes, counts. So, the longer you do the job, the […]

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 […]