Careless mistakes

This is the season where parents would be receiving the Weighted Assessment 2 results. Have you gone beyond looking at the final score and instead, consider the child’s weaknesses and strengths?

If you realise that your child is making many careless mistakes (i.e. mistakes which could have been avoided, questions that your child obviously can answer but got wrong), then it is high time to ask ourselves why.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law Bell Curve can shed some light on this.

They proposed that student’s performance can increase with up to a certain point with a healthy amount of stress level (good stress), after which it starts to decline. That is when we become too stress and we cannot think straight and our brain becomes inefficient.

How do we help our children to be in an optimal state of learning, a relaxed state of alertness?

  • Offer materials with high challenge but ensure that they are given a learning environment in which it is safe to explore, make mistakes and take the time they need to learn and produce good work.
  • When students learn that it is all right to fail, they can take the kinds of risk that will lead to real growth.
  • They can develop brains that are capable of performing at a high level of of being happy.

What you can do today as a parent

  • Remind your child of the big picture, that grades matter less than the ways he or she develops as a student and person.

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