3. "There is entirely too much emphasis on NOT making mistakes. Thus trying something unfamiliar is very risky and scary. Children will happily practice doing what they know and resist trying the unfamiliar. (As an experiment, assign an arithmetic review sheet to an upper-level class on a substitute day. I bet they will complete it and hand it in with little complaint.)"
I know exactly what you are saying. That is why I have a large bulletin board that perenially states "The only way to never fail is to never try." Every year I have students who try to argue that the statement is backwards in its logic.
"Thinking is too much work. (Does anyone out there remember Maynard G. Krebs? Guess that dates me.)"
Yes I surely do. I would guess many of those out there do also.