• The Core Collaborative

How Can Families Build Mistake Literacy?

by Zak Cohen, EmpowerED Learner Partner Consultant


Just yesterday, I got off a phone call with one of my former student’s parents. She shared with me that while she is doing her best to support her son’s learning, her main concern was whether she could help her son through this crisis without lasting trauma. As she said, “If my son has no lasting scars from this time, I’ve done my job.” And, you know what, she’s absolutely right. 


I think we have to accept that families are doing their very best in the face of very challenging circumstances. And, that math homework is not necessarily going to be the top priority at home right now. This means, we also have to accept that home learning environments are going to be imperfect -- and that’s ok; but, in an imperfect learning environment where students have higher levels of autonomy and are trusted to work more independently, we should also accept that mistake-making is only going to increase.


What we want to figure out then is how families can help get their child back on the right track without getting over-involved or becoming overwhelmed. 

So with so much out there, let’s keep this simple and research-based. Let’s talk about how encouraging autonomy can actually help to grow mistake-literate learners. 


To learn more about the role of autonomy in growing mistake-literate learners, check out the video below.





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The Core Collaborative

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