Mistakes are the Portal of Discovery
Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Wouldn't it be great if we saw mistakes as part of the learning journey. At the end of the day we could ask our children, "how many mistakes did you make today? And what did you learn from them?" Then we could celebrate those mistakes as lessons learned.
We've all heard the acronym - F.A.I.L - First Attempt In Learning, but too often mistakes and failure are seen as negatives. The stigma about making mistakes and owning that error are still huge. But without making those mistakes we don't learn and we certainly don't discover new and improved ways to accomplish the outcome. Failure should lead to new processes and new outcomes and become an essential and accepted part in learning and life. Failure teaches resilience and determination and makes us think in new ways to solve problems. Out of failure can come great discovery, just look at some of the famous failures.
By teaching STEM in a hands on makerspace-type environment there is plenty of room for mistakes - in fact, mistakes are encouraged. Making mistakes in a supportive environment, seeing others make mistakes opens the door for discussion, evaluation and planning to move forward.
With our kits there is no single outcome, with one kit and 30 kids you will always get 30 different projects and all will have their own problems along the way. Kids find that watching others, asking for help and learning from their peers is a great way to harness the power of failure. When everything goes right and it works the first time there is success but limited opportunity for evaluation. Solving a puzzle, re-working the design or project to make it function is an achievement with a longer lasting impact.