We all know just how wrong students can be when they answer a question in class. There have even been entire books devoted to the subject. A student indicates that his favorite hue is “Jackman,” while another submits the following sentence as her essay on the enlightenment:
My students have told me that I have a unique ability to not make students look dumb, when they give a completely wrong answer. I think it is probably because I have no doubt given my share of wrong answers throughout my educational experience. Students tell me that I am able to avoid being transparent about just how wrong students are, while still indicating that their answers were incorrect.
When students have given me this feedback, they have shared how much it both made them laugh (they thought about how hard it must have been for me not to let on just how dumb the student's answer was) and also respect me more (because I didn't just let the wrong answer pass). It wasn't anything I had given much thought to, until the feedback kept being repeated to me.
Here are a few thoughts on how to approach incorrect answers in the classroom: [Read more…] about How to respond when students give wrong answers