According to Doctor Brian Goldman, the mistakes he made in his profession lead him to become better at his job. He began to understand things on a deeper level, and it opened his mind to more possibilities. It’s not until you really act, where you can get something to react. The action was the mistake, and the reaction was the consequences of the action.
Growing up in a traditional household, where grades were pushed and everything was measured by how many “A’s” I came home with on my report card, I can say learning does happen from mistakes. When I finally allowed myself to start getting some figurative ‘scars’ from learning through experience, I became addicted to it. I wanted to make mistakes and learn from them. Whether it was teaching myself to climb a tree or ride a bike (I never did those things as a child), to making mistakes in Math until I figured out how to break a problem into its simplest steps – failure has been my greatest teacher.
Therefore, even today, I try to “Be curious” (as one instructor told me) about everything that sparks my interest. This allows me to ask more questions, and potentially learn more about the subject than I intended. More information on a subject can only lead to a more in-depth understanding of what I don’t know about it.
In my classroom, I plan to teach an introductory course to computing and the elements of Microsoft Word. How can one learn without making mistakes? I will reward mistakes, as a means of trying different paths and realizing that certain buttons don’t do what you want.
Mistakes will be encouraged – why? Because it’s better to click all the buttons and let your curiosity loose in a controlled classroom environment, where there is an Instructor present (for mental safety), just in case anything feels wrong, or goes wrong. The only way something may go wrong is if a student prints many pages, or already knows enough about computers to go in and try to delete system files.