Anne Murphy Paul explains productive failure in her article, Why Floundering is Good.
Trying to figure something out on your own before getting help actually produces better results than having guidance from the beginning
That’s why I ask my students to take a practice test before our first session.
And why I spend a lot more time listening rather than talking when I’m working with students. I want them to explain what they know and what they don’t know, where they ran into a wall or realized they were off-track. Research shows that students who can articulate their knowledge and learning strategies are more effective learners.
I try to walk the fine line between creating productive struggle but stopping before we reach unproductive frustration – cognitive psychologist Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development.
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