How can failure facilitate learning and success?
Failure can be an important part of the learning process, but many students fear it and often see failure as an indication that they aren't smart or can't learn. This couldn't be further from the truth.
How can failure facilitate learning and success? Cognitive-studies researcher Xiaodong Lin-Siegler of Columbia University’s Teachers College is researching just that. The Atlantic reports that in 2016, Lin-Siegler published a study that found that "high-school students’ science grades improved after they learned about the personal and intellectual struggles of scientists including Einstein and Marie Curie. Students who only learned about the scientists’ achievements saw their grades decline." Lin-Siegler will continue her work studying the educational purpose of failure at the new Education for Persistence and Innovation Center at Teachers College. Her main goal is to "help students realize that failure is a normal part of the process of learning."
Research like this can tell us a lot about how students think and what impacts their learning success. Our Research Team recently developed a guide to help teachers understand what motivates their students and to provide ways that teachers can support their students in persevering to reach their learning goals.
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