Erasers are 'an instrument of the devil and should be banned', says leading academic

Guy Claxton says schools should encourage children to acknowledge their mistakes

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A cognitive scientist has warned that erasers are "an instrument of the devil" and has called for them to be banned from the classroom.

Guy Claxton, a visiting professor from King's College London, said that rubbers, which are a basic component of any school pencil case, encourage children to feel ashamed about their mistakes.

And he suggested that teachers should be urging kids to focus on what they've done wrong in an attempt to prepare them for the "big wide world" , rather than placing undue emphasis on grades.

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Professor Claxton told the Daily Telegraph: "The eraser is an instrument of the devil because it perpetuates a culture of shame about error.

"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."

He called for a culture in which children are "not afraid" to make errors, and said that they should be constantly reflecting and improving on what they have already achieved - rather than being trained to get the right answer as quickly as possible.

And he said that learning should be centred around the "process" of getting the right answer - because that's what real life is really like.

“Ban the eraser, get a big road sign with an eraser and put a big, red bar across it and get kids to say you don’t scrub out your mistakes," he added.

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