“No”, according to a Dutch professor in Risk Management. What he said was:
All right, so be it in risk management: ‘”We will never learn from mistakes, so always be on your guard..”, but the statement is a real blow in the face when it comes to those involved in education. Can it be countered by what we know? Well, first we have to set straight what we mean or address when using a noun word like “Education”. Its intrinsic meaning is about a path to take, a course, a trajectory, a process. So, a verb would be more appropriate in fact (i.e., educare). Acknowledging that would imply that one needs to give credit to the different stages in which an apprentice can manifest her- or himself during a trajectory. To educate a beginner is really something different than working with a highly proficient person. Expertise research (2) teaches us that beginners are often overconfident and quite positive about their abilities, highly enthusiastic even about their prospects of mastering a subject real soon. But after a while, with more effort and time for in depth practice doubts and hesitance come to the forefront; even up to the point where one may discard or abandon altogether the subject under study.
Now the professor was may be right when referring exclusively to the first stage of educare. Beginners can be dangerous, for instance: having obtained your driving license recently; allowed for the first time to drink alcohol; getting your first salary; and even so when referring to more school linked subjects, like: the joyful experience of expressing a few words or sentences in a second language. But after joy comes the sour and hard work.
The precarious part is when it comes to ‘learning from mistakes’. The saddening thing is we hardly ever do that, and are repeating over and over again what we learned incorrectly. Then, educare will become at its best: pointing out, guiding, aiming for the right path. Most of the time making us smarter, wiser.