Failure is Your Friend

I am a big fan of the Freakonomics Podcast. This week, they highlighted the power of failure. In the new educational environment of high stakes testing, the ability to fail has been taken out of the game. This is fundamentally problematic as the greatest way to learn in life is through failure! In fact, many of the most influential people in history attribute their success to learning from failure. This esteemed list includes the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison!

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This week’s podcast tells us that not only should failure not be stigmatized, it should be celebrated!

I always tell my students — fail quickly. The quicker you fail the more chances you have to fail at something else before you eventually maybe find the thing that you don’t fail at. – Levitt

You can listen to the full podcast on their website here or download it from iTunes and Subscribe!

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About Jennifer Carey

My name is Jennifer Carey and I am a student and educator of the human condition. I have long studied history, trained in archaeology, and found a passion in the field of education. As a long-time lover of technology (my father bought our family our first Apple IIe when I was three), I love technology and what it can bring to the classroom. I have taught at various Universities for many years as well as educating gifted teenagers through the Johns Hopkins program, the Center for Talented Youth. I am currently the Director of Educational Technology at the Ransom Everglades School (a secular independent school) in Miami, Fl. I also have a few educational podcasts on iTunes from my days teaching at TCU: The Ancient City of Rome, Classical Archaeology (2008), Classical Archaeology (2009), Introduction to Classical Myth, and Ancient Eats. They’re enhanced (so you get the PowerPoints along with the vocal), but please excuse the poor audio editing. Feel free to Email Me or follow me on twitter.
This entry was posted in Education, Educational Resources, Lesson Plan, Pedagogy, Podcast, Professional Development, Teachers, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Failure is Your Friend

  1. robertlfs says:

    Thanks very much. So important. There is such a huge gap between working with students who feel that they must have everything right the first time, versus students who want to engage with a process and come out with more meaning. Over a several year period, the former group never get beyond surficial development because they are unable to take risks and step outside their comfort zone. The latter are exciting to work with because they can take unlimited potentials and make them real.

    • You are absolutely right, and the shift in gears in education has not helped. You do not have the ability to go back and try again and again. Refusing to address failure it detrimental not only in the classroom, but in real life. The podcast highlights the Challenger Incident and its relationship to “go fever” – refusing to see hurdles and failure because you’re so focused on success and failure is a stigma.

  2. Pingback: Failure is Your Friend | Developing Digital Lea...

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