The Many Errors in Thinking About Mistakes

NY Times:

On one hand, as children we’re taught that everyone makes mistakes and that the great thinkers and inventors embraced them. Thomas Edison’s famous quote is often inscribed in schools and children’s museums: “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

On the other hand, good grades are usually a reward for doing things right, not making errors. Compliments are given for having the correct answer and, in fact, the wrong one may elicit scorn from classmates.

We grow up with a mixed message: making mistakes is a necessary learning tool, but we should avoid them.