As the movement to improve education grows stronger, so has talk of positive failure, failing forward, and encouraging teachers and students to see the benefits of their own failures.
In simple terms, failing forward is just that–progressing even if a project or idea “fails.”
Educators haven’t always felt safe failing, but more and more administrators have created safe school environments where they encourage classroom teachers to try new things. And if those new things don’t work out as anticipated, they still yield lessons.
Do you want to share a failing-forward experience you’ve had? Enter CoSN’s Failfest by submitting a video describing your great failure! Failfest celebrates how we learn from our mistakes and build a better initiative going forward. Learn more here!
Students, too, are encouraged to be optimistic about failures and to use those failures as starting points for new ideas and explorations.
(Next page: Six TED Talks on failing forward)
Check out these six TED Talks on failing forward and what it means to persist despite unexpected outcomes:
1. How to learn? From mistakes
Diana Laufenberg shares three surprising things she has learned about teaching–including a key insight about learning from mistakes.
2. Let’s teach our kids to “fail forward”
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The TEDxPlano 2014 theme was “On The Verge.” As a teacher who “touches the future,” Ramy Mahmoud lives On The Verge.
3. Why I teach my children to fail
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Failure, struggle, and setbacks are not only an inevitable part of life but a necessary part of the path to success. Jim Harshaw relates powerful lessons of failure, struggle, and setback to empower his audiences to overcome their own challenges and achieve success despite their inevitable failures.
4. Our schools should teach kids to fail
Keith Peters, an educator and elementary school principal, shares some ideas on the importance of making failure a part of our school curricula.
5. Rethinking failure
In her TEDxBarnardCollege talk, Barbara Corcoran kicks off the day with her personal, first-hand experience of embracing failure and re-imagining what it has meant for her own path to success.
6. Embrace the near win
At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?