“Failure is success in progress”

The words of wisdom in the title come from Albert Einstein.  Within the world of education, harnessing the power of failure is very much in vogue at the moment, inspired to a large extent by the work of Carol Dweck.  The idea is simple: those who fear failure will not try out new ideas and will therefore deprive themselves of valuable learning opportunities.  This applies as much to teachers as to students!

A school in Wimbledon recently held a “Failure week”, designed to help the students understand that whilst failure is not very pleasant, this does not necessarily mean it is a bad thing.  The school encouraged pupils to embrace the  positives that come out of failure.  It also discussed strategies for dealing with the negatives.

success & failure

All of this links in with resilience or grit, and the idea that schools should be helping youngsters to acquire the attitude and ability to cope with setbacks and to overcome challenges.

Some useful links and resources which might offer inspiration on this topic:

The Learning@Loreto page on resilience.

My recent assembly on the value of failure

A video of J K Rowling discussing the benefits of failure, along with accompanying transcript.

A video of Jack Andraka discussing his path to success.


Developing resilience

Pupils become more resilient when they understand that challenges and setbacks are an important part of learning. At the Beaumont Teachmeet, we were told about the Growth Mindsets work of Carol Dweck. This short presentation by Eduardo Briceno explains what this is all about. More about resilience on this page.