Sunday, October 19, 2008

Children Under 12 Generally Don't Learn From Mistakes, But Respond to Positive Feedback

The Drs. Eide have a short post from Science Daily showing results of fMRI studies on children who try to learn from mistakes and those who try to learn from positive feedback, as well as older teenagers and adults under the same circumstances. Teens and adults have had their brains mature and develop pathways to learn from mistakes that they have made. Younger children generally do not learn well from the mistakes they make - the brain does not develop the same pathways in order for this to occur. There are always exceptions because of the uniqueness of individual brain development, but many more children under the age of 12 do not learn effectively from mistakes and are prone to make the same mistake. Positive praise and feedback works best for most children. Negative feedback is not effective either, as some teachers and parents may get angry with those children who make the same mistakes, rather than praise them for progress in moving away from a particular mistake. Very interesting and important for the home and the classroom!

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