Students perform better academically when told that failure is possible, according to a recent study by French researchers. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, questions the trend toward adopting high-stakes standardized tests -- used to evaluate teachers -- which researchers found actually could lessen students' confidence. A California teacher says she has had success with a technique called "my favorite no," in which she points out common mistakes and helps students understand that mistakes are part of learning.

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