Is there a way of exploring the work of students beyond just ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?
If mistakes are an important part of the learning process, do they need to be explored deeply?
Does a teacher stand to gain a better understanding of the workings of her students’ minds if an attempt is made to systematically examine the thought process behind every mistake?
What is the hidden takeaway (missed take) in every mistake, for a student as well as a teacher?
Four teachers (two language, two maths) examined such questions as part of their action research into students’ mistakes – and eventually effected a turnaround in the way that their ‘struggling’ students began to approach subjects like English and mathematics.
In this compilation of four engaging journeys, the impact of such an investigation on both the teacher and the taught emerges: as teachers begin to gain new insights into their own mental biases and tacit assumptions, students, too, begin to loosen their grip on age-old fears and prejudices – the phobia(s) slowly giving way to the desire to look for stimulating challenges.
There is also a roadmap for teachers who wish to try such an exploration in their own classes in order to empower students to turn into reflective learners.