Let failure flourish in education so discovery can drive

The education factory eliminates failure in favor of conformity at the expense of terminating creativity.

The education factory and its assembly line data dumping has virtually destroyed learning as discovery replacing it with memorizing and regurgitating. Its as if employers wanted high schools and colleges to train workers to show up to do nothing more than Google searches. The education factory is the picture of production and efficiency. Ken Robinson explains how the industrial education is now the DNA of our education system in his TED video: “Changing Education Paradigms.

Go to TED or YouTube and watch this video now.

Students batched by date of issue are trained to memorize lecture-data-downloads in their hard-drive-brains for later multiple choice regurgitation-retrieval assessments. This strategy replaces learning as discovery with multiple choice conformity. This industrial education system is the DNA of programed mediocrity that reduces learning to multiple choice right answers. Changing the industrial education DNA will not be easy. My suggestion is to start by eliminating multiple choice testing.  Ask teacher’s in the classroom to invent methods of assessment that rewards each student for: innovative thinking that reveals how the student identifies and tests relationships, inferences, connections and performs other rational sifting to invent learning opportunities by making discoveries from mistakes.

We want our students to be more than Google searchers. We want them to invent their style for making discoveries. The solution looks something like this:

“They [students] need to get accustomed to learning from different directions, playing with concepts, and figuring out how to ask the whys in order to gain access to knowledge. This process is more important than having the knowledge itself, and it is why we must step away from memorization and get back to figuring things out in a variety of ways. This is one of the most important skills of the 21st century.”—Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D. “Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists”

Play is essential. Why do youth play video games for hours driven by repeated failure to get from level 4 to level 5? Playing with concepts, new ideas, relationships, inferences that lead to failure becomes the formula for discovery. This formula for discovery is a path for students to invent their life’s work and to make something great to share with the world. We need to change this to education by recognizing that we make discoveries from failures. Tom Robinson puts it this way:

“So you think that you’re a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? In the first place, if you’ve any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail.

But fail with wit,
fail with grace,
fail with style.

A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free.” –Tom Robbins

The most powerful learning technique is transforming a witty, graceful and stylish failure into a life’s work, which means you will never work a day in your life.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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