Problems become clear by making mistakes!
There are many people that believe that making mistakes is the only way we as a species move forwards, I am a great believer in this, there is a saying “those who do nothing make no mistakes”.
Lets examine the mind set of this a little closer if we do a task and complete it successfully without any mistakes would you understand the principales of what you did better than someone who spent three times as long making lots of mistakes??
For this example we will say we were building a flat packed furniture pack and break down my thinking below;
Person 1 did a smooth job no problems took him an hour.
Why did they have no problems, probable reasons?
1: They built them before or something similar?
2: They are used to problem solving?
3: They read the instructions?
4: They plan the job?
5: They have all the correct tools?
6: They have made mistakes before in the past?
These reasons could easily be why he has tackled this job and it went smoothly.
Let’s take our Guy or Girl who did not have such a good time with the project.
Person 2 it all went a little bandy and took 3 hours to do.
Why did they have problems, probable reasons?
1: They never built them before or even tried?
2: They are not used to problem solving?
3: They threw the instructions away?
4: They did not plan the job?
5: They have no tools?
6: They have not made mistakes in the past?
These reasons could easily be why they had a disaster with this job
OK Lets say they both have no experience and the same thing occurs, what is the cause now??
Now we can look at the characters, one will plan and read instructions and notes the other does not, it is self evident what the outcome will be!
However we are sort of jumping off topic, I bet you after the task has been completed the guy/girl who had problems will not forget how to do it correctly next time.
What I am trying to get across is when you make mistakes your brain will embed the information better as you will be thinking about it a lot harder, so by
making mistakes we can actually learn and develop our long term memory as opposed to short term.
An example would be a university student reading and swatting for an exam, I bet most will not remember what they learnt after a month! This is because they just learnt what they needed for the test “SHORT TERM MEMORY” if they had not understood what they were reading and had to ask and have it broken down for them, I bet they would remember it years from now!
By using this thought method we can cater training to be more long term, by forcing thoughts and mistakes, and by getting the student to think more about the process, we can also try to link thought and learning methods with visual imagery, it is a well known fact that we can hold visual images much quicker and for longer than speech or text.
So trying to use visual linkages we can assume this information will be held longer in the long term parts of the brain.
Anyway your thoughts on this subject would be great.