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Friday, January 25, 2013

The power of a good mistake

The Power of a Good Mistake
By NCTM President Linda M. Gojak
NCTM Summing Up, January 8, 2013
 Gojak_Linda-100x140“It has been a long trip,” said Milo, climbing onto the couch where the princesses sat; “but we would have been here much sooner if I hadn’t made so many mistakes. I’m afraid it’s all my fault.”

“You must never feel badly about making mistakes,” explained Reason quietly, “as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.” 

― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth 

How often do our students consider their mistakes to be signs of failure? How many students, as well as parents, believe that the goal of learning mathematics is solely to get the correct answer? How often, on arriving at an answer, do students believe their thinking about the problem is finished? In The Phantom Tollbooth, author Norton Juster offers a valuable contrasting perspective: read on...

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