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'Ban rubbers in schools, children should be encouraged to make mistakes'

One UK-based scientist says erasers are ‘instruments of the devil’.

Image: Shutterstock

A UK-BASED cognitive scientists says that rubbers should be banned from the classroom because they they create a “culture of shame about error”.

Guy Claxton of King’s College has argued that children should be taught that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes and that using an eraser to hide them is wrong.

“The eraser is an instrument of the devil because it perpetuates a culture of shame about error,” Claxton told The Daily Telegraph.

“It’s a way of lying to the world, which says ‘I didn’t make a mistake. I got it right first time.’ That’s what happens when you can rub it out and replace it.”

Instead, we need a culture where children are not afraid to make mistakes, they look at their mistakes and they learn from them, where they are continuously reflecting and improving on what they’ve done, not being enthralled to getting the right answer quickly and looking smart.

Claxton goes on to say that mistakes should be considered your ‘friends and your teachers’.

He says the process of coming to the right answer is more important than the answer itself and that understanding this is key to succeeding in the ‘big wide world’.

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Claxton is also an author and has similarly argued before that a wider debate is needed on the use of grades within the educational system.

Read: What value are we putting on higher education? >

Read: There will be no more As, Bs or Cs in the Leaving Cert >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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