Failure is a hot topic. From Ted Talks to books about pedagogy and design there is an effort to redefine perceptions of failure and move it from something to be avoided to a necessary element of continuous improvement. By definition failure refers to a lack of success, falling short, omission, deterioration and as a way to define a person who is not successful. These are hardly positive attributes to be strived for or nurtured. In redefining failure as a natural part of learning, there is some work to be done concerning expectations and support.
Interestingly failure is a pretty simple concept to grasp when thought about outside of formal education. For anyone who has participated in a sport or hobby. When learning how to ski, shoot a basket or juggle there is the understanding that a large number of attempts will be needed before competency arrives, and a majority of these attempts will be failures. Each unsuccessful attempt is analyzed and used to make adjustments to try again, a process that seems completely natural. In school, the idea of failure and being unsuccessful is still in most cases negative.
The key to changing this perception has to do with shifting the focus of learning from product to process. We can not just assume that failure is bad or good, ultimately it is what we do with it. This week’s Big Idea is Failure, and the challenge is to learn from failure. Through participating in this Challenge, we can learn how to change perceptions and what scaffolding needs to be in place to help people “fail forward” and improve.
Big Idea: Failure
Essential Question: How can we help to change the definition of failure in our environments?
Challenge: Learn from Failure!
Sample Guiding Questions
These are only example questions we encourage you to ask as many personal and contextual questions as possible.
*Once you brainstorm all of the questions organize and prioritize them.
Guiding Activities and Resources
These are only a set of example activities and resources and the learners will need to evaluate the quality of the content. They are not verified or necessarily supported, just examples. The ones that you choose should be in direct relationship to your specific guiding questions and context. Activities and resources for adults, adolescents, and younger children will be different. The goal is to develop solutions that mean something in your community and are sustainable.
Using the research findings from your Investigations develop a synthesis that demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenge
Solution Prototypes – Using your research synthesis create multiple ideas for solutions and review each one to make sure your research supports it. Share the prototypes with various stakeholders and get feedback.
Solution – with the feedback from the stakeholders develop one solution that has the most potential for success.
Implement – Develop a plan to implement the solution with the stakeholders and collect data about the impact.
Evaluate – Using quantitative and qualitative measures determine if the solution is valid and what can be improved.
Throughout the experience take time to document the events and reflect on what is happening to build on prior knowledge and identify future questions.
Share what you learned with your local community and the world. Use #CBLWorld on social media.