Trial and error is a necessary evil

Trial and error is a necessary evil

When I was studying engineering I experienced a very significant moment during my junior year of college.  A fellow student was sharing with one of my professors about how frustrated and ‘stupid’ (as he put it) he often felt by having to try over and over again to solve problems – often never even coming to the correct solution.  I can remember so vividly what my professor said to my classmate.

“If you don’t like trial and error, this might not be for you,” he said.  “You need to enjoy errors.”

Enjoy errors?  Sure, easy for him to say since he was not the one at two in the morning ready to punch a wall because the computer code you had been working on kept crashing.  How could a person enjoy errors?

I realize now that he is 100% correct.  Why?  Because every ‘error’ brings you closer to a solution and you experience what the incorrect path feels like.  The key word here is feel.  We at iCreate are big fans of this word feel, especially when it comes to students using their hands to build and construct what is in their minds and express it through animated pictures.  In addition, when preparing for and making the animation, students experience not only the subject they are studying, but the process of learning as well.  And, throughout this process there will be errors – which is a good thing.

While this may sound crazy, use your students’ ‘errors’ as a chance to celebrate since what they have done will help them learn so much more than being perfect on the first try.


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