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Error Terror: The Value of Thinking and Acting Like a Child

“Error marks the place where education begins,” Mike Rose posits as one of the central themes of his book Lives on the Boundary. Error is a signal of stepping outside the confines of our comfortable knowledge base, of taking that risk and transcending what we already know; yet it is precisely error that is punished. If trial repeatedly ends up as punished error, the fear of error may hinder the curiosity proclivity of young children who then develop “error terror.” For those who are marginalized in society, the awareness of their likelihood for error, of the stereotypes associated with lack of ability, increases the propensity for mishaps in classroom performance.

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