We still have a lot to learn in education. In fact, although we talk about positive reinforcement and rewarding effort, the truth is that in many schools there are still many things to do. Fortunately, there are also many teachers who adopt new educational methods and who really care about rewarding the positive results of their students, and one of them is the one known as the “green pen technique” in the correction systems of tests, exercises and tests. .


What does this method consist of?

The idea is very simple: the teacher must change his typical red pen to make corrections, focusing only on what is wrong, for a green one highlighting what is right . This change makes the child’s mind reinforce their knowledge in a positive way, focusing their attention on what they have done well and on how they can correct the mistakes they have made when doing their exercises or school assignments. In addition, psychologically, the child feels much more motivated to achieve his goal and to make and correct all the mistakes he may have made.

Basically, this method consists of changing the classic red pen that is normally used to mark errors, for a green pen that highlights well-made spellings. From a psychological point of view, this is a huge change in the way of conceiving education, since it implies a positive reinforcement and not a punishment for what was badly done.

Marking mistakes in red only helps children focus their attention on what they have done wrong and, on the other hand, marking successes in green will make children notice the positive and retain it better in their memory. In this way, children will not only feel more motivated, but we will also prevent them from developing the fear of failure. In fact, by changing the focus of attention, students do not make so much effort to avoid mistakes, but to repeat or improve what they have done well and to find ways to continue to improve and learn.

In the long term, this small change can have great repercussions in our lives, since it teaches us to focus on the positive, despite the negative things; an attitude that most people have not learned to develop.


Ink color is still up for debate

This method, while well-intentioned, is still under debate. A short time ago, teachers in the UK called the marking system that forces them to use pink ink for negative comments ridiculous as “less aggressive” than red ink. On the other hand, in other places they do bet on this new color considering that pink is a more delicate color that can allow children not to perceive their mistakes as much as a horrible failure.

In other cases, as in some schools, they have gone a step further and are applying what are known as “rainbow markers”, which involve using up to six different colors in the correction.

And you, what do you think about the debate of the ink in the corrections?

They were? Colors are important or not? We campaign not to identify girls with pink and boys with blue / light blue, but we attribute “powers” to red and green. The use of color are conventions. And what must be modified is the perception of the error as failure. I have seen hundreds of times that kids who learn from their mistakes fix their knowledge much more. The error is PART of the process, it is having proposed a solution that did not turn out as I thought, but that can give me clues for the solution that DOES work

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