Students Must Be Taught to Fail

FallingAlthough written from the perspective of college and professors, this article has equal relevance to our younger kids and their school environments :

STEM Students Must Be Taught to Fail – US News and World Report.

I’d propose that it’s ALL students, not just Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students that need to learn to fail. No matter what field our kids end up in, taking risks and learning from mistakers is a key to success.

Just as university professors have reputations to protect by staying within the ‘safe’ boundaries of their teaching, so too with high school and even middle school teachers. Combined with the emphasis on testing, good grades and the omnipresent GPA for getting into college, our schools don’t really encourage our kids to take the risks that can result in failure or big success.¬†And failure is part of life and problem solving and important to progress.

So it seems that it’s up to us parents to teach our kids about taking risks and experiencing failure and learning from our mistakes. We need to help our kids learn how to evaluate the risks that they consider taking, examine possible and even improbable outcomes, be emotionally prepared for failure too.

As the U.S. News article points out, our schools are teaching students how to solve well-structured problems, not messy real-world situations that often require failure to get to workable  solutions. Sounds like a PTA topic to me.

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