The Author and Illustrator Who Celebrates His Mistakes

As art teachers, we know it’s OK for students to make mistakes. In fact, many of us encourage exploration and play in our art rooms. We give choices, allow for do-overs, and promote creative thinking. However, do we really know that students feel safe making mistakes in our rooms? Do our assessments and demonstrations really reflect our beliefs? Just like any student learning outcome, we must make our acceptance of mistakes clear to our students.

This idea is why we’re so excited to announce another amazing 2016 Winter Conference featured presenter, Barney Saltzberg. You may know Barney as the author and illustrator of the wildly popular and inspiring book Beautiful Oops! If you’re not familiar, check out the video below.

In today’s schools, kids are bombarded with the idea that there are only right and wrong answers. No wonder they are concerned about failing! Using the same powerful message from his book, Barney will inspire you to help your students see the beauty in their mistakes. You’ll leave this uplifting presentation with a renewed appreciation for all the beautiful smudges, spills, and splats in your art room!

Register for the AOE 2016 Winter Online Conference and hear Barney (and 20+ other amazing and inspiring art educators) speak about the most important topics in art education today. 

Do you read the book Beautiful Oops! to your students?
How do you encourage making mistakes in your art room?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Tracy Hare

Tracy Hare, a middle school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She strives to deepen students’ 21st-century skills by encouraging them to practice critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

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