How Children Fail


I wish I had this book when I was like, 10. I especially like the stuff about how teachers can sometimes make children afraid to take challenges in school (or life) because of an instilled fear of failure:

They fear wrong answers and shy away from challenges because they may not have the right answer. This fear, which rules them in the school setting, does their thinking and learning a great disservice. A teacher’s job is to help them overcome their fears of failure and explore the problem for real learning. So often, teachers are doing the opposite — building children’s fears up to monumental proportions. Children need to see that failure is honorable, and that it helps them construct meaning. It should not be seen as humiliating, but as a step to real learning. Being afraid of mistakes, they never try to understand their own mistakes and cannot and will not try to understand when their thinking is faulty. Adding to children’s fear in school is corporal punishment and humiliation, both of which can scare children into right/wrong thinking and away from their natural exploratory thinking.

Also, Pelican/Penguin book covers are quite nice.

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