By Karen Boyes 5 January 2009
Embracing experiences, errors and mistakes is essential in your classroom for maximising learning opportunities. Glenn Capelli suggests that good learners look back in order to look forward with new and deeper wisdom.
Focusing on learning from experience leads to better retention and faster, more effective learning. Providing reflection time, enables learners to consolidate understanding skills and attitudes, and allows application of new knowledge.
- Provide an environment where mistakes are celebrated
- Rename mistakes to ‘learning experiences’
- Use mindful language to encourage thinking and learning
- Talk to students about responsible risk taking
- Provide feedback as often as possible
- Ask students to retell observations and procedures in small groups.
- Encourage students to write about a similar experiences and learning
- Mime or role play learning (or things you have learnt)
- Pictorially represent learning with symbols and key words
- Write stories or poetry about a learning experience
- Transfer school learning to real life situations
- Use ‘Dipsticking’ as an immediate feedback system
Whatever you do in your classroom, let children learn from their own experiences no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. It begins a pattern of reflective behaviour, which is an indicator to success. Teach students to become responsible risk takers and give new activities a go, then reflect and improve. The more practice students have the better they will become at learning from their mistakes and errors. If you teach them strategies to do this they are more likely to have a successful life in all areas.
The Thinking Learning Classroom – Glenn Capelli & Sean Brealey 2000 Western Australia
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. National Research Council 2000 USA
Brain Based Learning Eric Jensen 1996 USA
Creating An Effective Learning Environment Karen Boyes 2001 NZ
Habits Of Mind – Activating & Engaging Art Costa and Bena Kallick 2000 USA
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