Failure is often a dirty word in education: it’s associated with a loss of credit for students, work needing to be redone, resits, being held back. For staff it is associated with lack of promotion, awkward conversations in yearly performance and development reviews, even loss of employment … why would anybody want to risk that? Setting ourselves or our students up to fail seems like a recipe for disaster, surely?
Yes at the same time we know that often creativity, originality, even genius are the products of risk taking … and who would want to stifle that? Not allowing ourselves or our students the chance to excel seems … just wrong – doesn’t it?
So how do we resolve this tension?
The topic for this chat came from a serendipitous conversation over Twitter where the pair of us talked about the need to allow ourselves and our students opportunities to take risks without the fear of censure. Join us in this chat as we think about the language we use to talk about failure and how we, as professionals working in education, can can help to create an atmosphere where failure can lead to success.
Honeychurch, S. (2019) The Future of Learning [blog] Available at: http://www.nomadwarmachine.co.uk/2019/04/17/the-future-of-learning/ Accessed 25/4/19
Kapur, M. (2008) “Productive Failure” Cognition and instruction vol.26 no.3 pp.379-424 doi:10.1080/07370000802212669
Sarah Honeychurch @NomadWarMachine is a Teaching Fellow in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, where she is investigating ways of making learning, teaching and assessment less stressful and more meaningful for staff and students. She is currently writing-up a PhD in Education which considers the effects of online peer interaction on learning.
Sarah is also an editor for the journals Hybrid Pedagogy and Research in Learning Technology. She blogs at http://www.nomadwarmachine.co.uk/
Dr Ann Bingham is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Higher Education Practice at the University of Southampton.
With a background in Chemistry, Ann obtained her PhD in 2002. In addition to Teaching, Ann’s roles encompassed leadership, mentoring, and staff development before moving into academic development.
With a passion for life-long learning, Ann continues to maintain her record of CPD, her interests encompass, Innovative Curriculum Design, Assessment and Feedback, the International Student Experience, Cultural Differences in HE, and Personal Academic Tutoring. She is a Fellow of the HEA, a member of NACADA and ALDinHE and a founding member of UKAT where she holds the position of Vice-Chair (Community Engagement).
Here’s the Wakelet for this chat: https://wke.lt/w/s/nHeqPG