Friday, July 22, 2011

fail often

I've been tuning in to America's Imagination Summit, and the most important call to action (in my humble opinion) is to support kids in FAILING!  Seems counterintuitive, I know.  But failure is key to success.  We learn from our failures.

If we teach kids to do everything right the first time, they lose out on the valuable lessons that come from doing things wrong.  In order to fully understand what works, we often need to explore what doesn't work and why.  By creating safe spaces for trial and error,  we can support children in exploring their creativity and reaching their maximum potential.  Learning is a process, and failure is an integral part of that process.

I'm sure you know people with extreme talent that don't do anything with it for fear of judgement or criticism.  A fear of failure inhibits creativity and imagination--2 vital components for personal success and positive change in the world.  Let's work to combat that fear in today's children.  By creating judgement-free zones where failure does not have any severe or life-threatening implications, we can give kids the gifts of exploration and discovery-- the roots of REAL education that will benefit them (and the society around them) in the long run.

Project-based learning, particularly projects involving design and innovation, are excellent examples of safe spaces to fail.  Have kids come up with a problem and work towards a solution of that problem.  Encourage imagination and teach them to accept and learn from failures as they inevitably occur.  For some good examples of project-based learning, check out Edutopia.  And if you're interested in design and innovation, check out what kids are coming up with in the Young Makers groups around the bay area.

No comments:

Post a Comment