There is perhaps no more depressing of a phrase in the English language than "learning from your mistakes." Invariably, one only encounters this expression when they are on the ground openly sobbing - due to falling after a failed unicycle attempt - and some well-intentioned, yet horribly unsympathetic person tries to bandage up their gaping wound with the fact that they "learned" when all they really need is some gauze and a double-scoop ice cream cone. Nevertheless, the "mistake" has taught valuable lessons throughout the years and is wildly regarded as the guru of educational practices. Dr. Sean Ford, Department of English, employs this teacher and shares how he gets his students to discover and learn from their own mistakes:
One thing I started doing is assigning low-risk writings with three components that encourage students to give initial impressions or response to a literary work. They then go back and look at the work more closely, describing and analyzing it, and then they interrogate how their impressions have changed. Some things they’ll have right, many things will be modified significantly, and some things they have to reject as completely off. It is more meaningful that they discover it themselves, with emphasis on the process of discovery, than to merely be told they have missed the mark.
Interviewed by: Jon Pumper