Friday, January 13, 2017

Problem Solving Includes Allowing for Failure

Real teaching provides students opportunities to problem solve. This instructional practice includes allowing students to fail and try again. So often we fail to provide those key opportunities to students. When educators end the process at failure, we omit the significant "retry" step. Where would the world be if famous thinkers such as Einstein were not allowed a "do over"?
Dr Kendra Strange Shaffer @drkendrastrange


  1. Thanks for sharing Dr. Kendra, too often teachers as well as parents do not allow their students and children enough opportunities to complete the problem solving process. They are concerned about failure. This in itself is enabling dependencies and curtailing the learning process and in the long run jeopardizing problem solving abilities. Do you know of any current research data on failure for success in problem solving?

  2. Thanks for the response. Yes, there is a great deal of research regarding learning and problem solving. Off the top of my head Eric Jensen and Marzano's brain based research. Thanks Dr Kendra Strange

  3. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Dr. Kendra Strange Shaffer

  4. I think this is why project based learning is so successful. My district started training us with PBL a few years ago and I must admit it takes a lot more work to prepare such activities, but students genuinely seem more engaged. After implementing PBL for a few years I will never go back to "busy work" during stations. I see students struggle to figure our how they went wrong and that struggle is such an important part of the learning.

  5. Tara- Thanks for sharing. Project based learning activities inherently lead to problem solving, which increases rigor. Thanks for commenting.
    Dr Kendra Strange Shaffer