The Wonders of Blunders: Building Resilience and Flexibility

Two children facing each other and over a small pond

Today’s students will face complex challenges and uncertainty in their futures. How can we prepare young students to become self-directed learners who know how to ask questions, solve problems, and unleash their creativity?

Developing Flexible Mindsets

For students to thrive individually and collectively, we need to equip them with the tools they need to respond resiliently and adaptively to uncertainty and adversity.

Educational systems and curriculum objectives often reflect the underlying assumptions that young children are not yet ready to develop the capacities that will eventually lead them to direct their own learning journeys.

Research and experience tell us a different story. The key lies in helping students develop flexible mindsets, which arise from periods of trial and error over searching for one “right answer.”

Tools for the Classroom

ResearchILD is fortunate to host Julie Dunstan, Ph.D. (CANTAB), and Susannah Cole, M.Ed., at our 37th Annual Executive Function Conference, where they will offer a pre-recorded concurrent presentation on “The Wonders of Blunders: Laying the Foundation for Resilience and Cognitive Flexibility in Early Childhood.” Dr. Dunstan is an educational psychologist and Founder of reFLEXions®↗(link opens in new tab/window). Ms. Cole is an executive function coach and managing director of reFLEXions®.

Dr. Dunstan and Ms. Cole’s presentation will highlight:

  • The value of laying the foundation for resilience in early childhood
  • Evidence-based strategies that help pre-schoolers learn about metacognition, executive function processes, and mindset messages
  • The potential of literature and structured imaginary play as the groundwork for building resilience and adaptability in early childhood

Learn More

What do young children know about the brain and learning? What can they learn about thinking flexibly and turning blunders into wonders? To learn more, we invite you to attend ResearchILD’s 37th Annual Executive Function Conference on November 3 and 4, 2022, to hear from these presenters and more.

  • Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate

SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum:

Research Institute for Learning and Development:

The Institute for Learning and Development: