Learning From the Failure of Others

Some interesting research provides insight into how we might learn from others' failure when it's framed as a learning experience.

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This short article, and the research it cites, have interestings implications for education. Failure has become a catchphrase in the field of education recently and I wonder how we can utilize failed idea/experiences/lessons as launch points for deeper learning. What if we take the spotlight of the failure itself and frame the entire experience, of discovering a new idea or approach to teaching and learning, trying it out, and failing at it, as an opportunity for others to learn from what happened? What might be the next step after that? 


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Photo of Gregg Austin

Great stuff. Establishing a culture in which failure (through effort) is seen as a positive movement and recognized as leading toward success. In this manner, one is certainly establishing a framework for rituals and routines focused on a non-traditional understanding of success.

Although, it is funny that the stigma of failure in the educational setting is difficult to shake. As a former life insurance salesman, the mindset driven home from the very outset by management is: "every no brings you closer to a yes." One will fail more often than one will succeed but the sum-total of the successes will far exceed the cost of failures.

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