I wish you bad luck!
Do we learn better from our failures than our successes?
The answer is both 'yes' and 'no!' Research on hope and motivation demonstrates that experts can learn from their mistakes. The much-celebrated idea of failing forward is meant for those who are good at what they do. Novices, on the other hand, tune out when they make mistakes. To avoid feeling bad, they stop paying attention. What happens when you point out an error to a novice, or in our case, children? Children interpret feedback on failure to mean that they lack aptitude and drop the ball. To make better sense of how failure affects children, we must consider why they fail.
Why do children fail?
After spending six years teaching elementary school in USA, John Caldwell Holt wrote How Children Fail to explain how children love to learn, but hate to be taught. He says, "They fail because they are afraid, bored, and confused." In the book, Holt explains how we teachers and parents are responsible for this fear, boredom or confusion. Children fail because they are afraid of disappointing the anxious adults around them. They fail because the trivial, dull and irrelevant tasks we force them to do bore them. They fail when we confuse them with an avalanche of information that hardly has any relation to what they already know.
Yes, we need to help our children embrace failures and become the experts who know how to fail forward. However, we are not going to achieve that by spotlighting their mistakes while they are learning. We need to catch what they are doing right. "You may get more bang for your buck if you point out to kids what they’re doing right rather than what they’re doing wrong," says Lauren Eskreis-Winkler who studies motivation and achievement at the University of Chicago.
We must stop being anxious!
Research suggests that children view their aptitude based on how their parents react to failure. When you stop being anxious and allow children to struggle, fail and learn, they will learn to fail forward. How do you do that? The following link will lead you to an interesting and insightful take from Rosama Francis on allowing children to learn to fly instead of letting your anxiety clip their wings.
Bonus Reading for School Leaders!
If you are a school leader, reading #WorkLessons @ Innerkern, we would like to share something insightful on school leadership with you. The following link will take you to Richa Prakash exploring how you can be a listening school leader.
Have you heard about the 70:20:10 Rule?
In the 1980s, Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo, and Robert A. Eichinger asked 200 executives to self-report how they improved their skills. The study revealed that 70% of the time, they acquired and fine-tuned their skills on the job, collaborating with their peers. 20% of skill improvement happened because an expert formally mentored or coached them. Only 10% of skill improvement happened while attending group training sessions like workshops, seminars, or conferences. Since the study, the 70:20:10 Rule is an undisputed formula for effective professional development. Michael Lombardo says: 'Development generally begins with the realization of current or future need and the motivation to do something about it… The odds are that development will be about 70% from on-the-job experiences (working on tasks and problems), about 20% from feedback, and 10% from courses and reading.' The long story of learning and development short, school improvement and teacher development initiatives must follow the 70:20:10 Rule to be successful and long-lasting.
Traditional teacher training and school improvement initiatives result in 10% improvement, forcing teachers to sit through workshops or to sign up for courses. A slightly better school improvement program might add coaching to the mix, promising a tentative 20% improvement in teacher performance. By training teachers in groups or coaching them individually, we ignore that 70% of teacher improvement can happen only on the job. Classroom Shapeshift, Innerkern's flagship school improvement solution is about supporting your school to leverage on-the-job teacher-learning. Would you like to learn more about Classroom Shapeshift? Visit the following link.
Classroom Shapeshift is a revolutionary teacher training solution that dramatically improves the teaching and assessment practices in your school without taking precious teacher time off for ‘workshops.' We follow the 70:20:10 Rule!
We hope you enjoyed reading the third issue of #WorkLessons @Innerkern. Do share this newsletter with school leaders, teachers and parents in your circle and encourage them to subscribe.
Thank you very much for your support so far.