Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

That Isn’t a Mistake

Dec 23, 2018

I find it amazing that such a simple post can generate so much comment (75 connents as of this post), but it goes to show that discourse is about both content and building an audience over time. Mostly the latter, in this case. Dan Meyer is making the point that we should distinguish between errors made by accident (such a typo) and errors made as a result of some sort of miscomprehension (such as the pattern regognition error in the example), and that we should use the term "mistake" only to refer to the first. Well, I don't know whether "the vast majority of the work we label 'mistakes' is students doing exactly what they meant to do" and I'm sure Meyer doesn't either (there's certainly no reference to a study). But more to the point, what's to be gained by not calling both of these 'mistakes'? Teachers should be correcting for both carelessness and miscomprehension, and to suggest that "Actual mistakes are worth ~0% of the class's time / energy / wall space for posters" is to misunderstand that education is about more than just concepts and cognition.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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