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Outlawing Fear

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Tired of hearing students answer your questions with the infamous "I don't know?" CaliforniaTeacherGuy is -- and he thinks it stems from the students' fear of making a mistake, not because they don't know.

It’s OK to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. Some of my biggest mistakes have proved to be some of my most important learning experiences.

To combat this problem, CaliforniaTeacherGuy has outlawed the phrase "I don't know" and replaced it with "I'm not sure but I think..." to challenge his students to voice their opinion.

It's OK not to be sure, but it is not OK not to think.
1 Comment

Brian,

It's interesting to see that this issue is wide spread.

As a chemisty teacher, many students are unwilling to volunteer responses to open questions.

I remind them that my classroom is a "safe zone" for an inaccurate response, since my classroom rules require "compassion" for others- students and teacher alike.

Also I challenge them to volunteer a response to an open question as a means of facilitating further discussion and revising inaccurate thoughts and impressions about a difficult subject.

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  • bob groce: Brian, It's interesting to see that this issue is wide read more

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