Numerous studies have concluded that good quality education is one of the key pillars of developing a nation. Thus, Producing competent and responsible personnel and citizens is the primary role of learning institutions. Thousands of students join universities every year, and the cycle makes it quite imperative to focus on quality learning. Because of this, academic failure of students has been a big problem in institutions; it leads to apparent wastage of fees, time and also causes personal distress and family problems. But is failure really a bad thing? What general impact does it have on a student's long-time learning outcomes? This paper discusses the effects of failure on learning with the stand that failure has a positive value on learning.
It is not a bad thing to fail. It is an unavoidable and guaranteed part of learning. Mostly in all endeavors, one encounters failure. It is experienced precisely in learning organizations where a toddler will always fall trying to learn how to walk. For instance, in education, particularly in High- stake expected era, failure has been known for being a persistent challenge. High school drop-out and achievement gap are wholesome problems viewed as "education failures". People argue all over how to prevent, avoid and shun failure whereas it has come to mean something terrible and also important. Errors as evidence that one is diverging from the appropriate track as Roger von puts it.
John Dewey, an Educational Reformer, said it best "Failure consist of instructions. One who thinks learns from his failures more than he learns from the successes." At our institution, we uphold this notion of failure believing it to be important in learning. It's not the dead-end failure that results to stagnation and regression neither are we discussing the one that results in loss of opportunity. Instead, we see failure as a method where students can get feedback on their improvements and most importantly get an opportunity to discover their strengths and enhance their personal betterment efforts. When an individual considers as a constructive and vital part of learning, it becomes a master teacher.
In our learning organization, The Loyal School, failure is a part of school design and most importantly our culture. It has to be there. Most students get into the ninth grade with a negative attitude and strong personal reactions towards failure, which may develop from chronic lack of achievements in school.
To help these students with a better understanding of failure, they are to be imparted with leadership skills, enlightened with school competencies and most importantly they are to learn on how to acquire feedback and as well to use it to improve. Most of these students do not achieve what they are capable of, and failure becomes a close friend to every student on the journey to complete high school and college. Setting high standards as well as not telling students what targets they haven't met is a way of making failure their friend. In the next attempt, it is required to give detailed information and suggestions on how every student can improve. Give students all available time, space and effort to revise. This approach enhances proper revision. In this kind of belief, failure means "you can do better" and not "you lose". It shows how much we believe in the student and the tactic is revising and trying again (Edmondson and Susan, 36).
In our institution, we happened to meet a student who gave her story on failure. The story shows seeing failure, not as an enemy, but a close friend. Tiana is a tenth- grade student after repeating the ninth grade due to low credits. She is not only the only sibling in her family who has graduated from college but also high school. Unfortunately, her mother was involved in a car accident and tragically died. Teachers from Loyal School visited Tiana's home to offer all the support. Family friends and Tiana's classmates as well gave their best support either financially or emotionally.
Within some months Tiana was able to report back to school determined to work hard since she was the only person her family could looked upon. She was so persistent to succeed. Luckily she acquired all credits and average points to join Ohio State University. So as to graduate from Loyal school, she was required to pass in her senior portfolio exams. With two attempts she failed; something that her teachers did not expect from her. Nevertheless, the teachers gave her targeted feedback and were ready to support her just as they had supported when Tiana's mother died. She received proper coaching and was equipped to do the exam again. She prepared again, revised and sat for the exam. She was able to deliver a high-quality portfolio that showed how much ready she was to join the university. Today she is majoring in BA in Education so that she can be a teacher
This story supports merry sherry in the book "In praise of the f-word," where she states that many young students do not view the value of education in the same maturity that adults see it, but with fear of failing it motivates both groups. Merry sherry encourages parents and teachers to use failure as a way of encouragement to the young ones. It is exactly what teachers of Loyal school did to Tiana. They capitalized on her situation of a failing portfolio as an encouragement to put more effort in the next coming exam. As the teachers in merry sherry's son's school threatened to flunk the son, in this case, teachers at Loyal school are willing to use appropriate methods to help failing students in achieving their goals. This approach made Tiana use all the power she needed.
Tiana's story agrees with Paul Logan's "zero" essay where he states that in higher education learning, one has to be ready to work and learn. Failure as painful as it is it does not have to be the end of everything. It is a way of learning that gives direction and builds strength. Paul Logan adds failure it's an awakening experience that turns a joking student to a serious student. Just like Tiana failing in the first exam that was not the end of her.
Loyal school teachers have come to learn that not all students pass with the first attempt and these are the fortunate ones since they will have learnt the art of persistence and they mature through failure to meet their success. This reframing method of failure is publicly now introduced to the Loyal school since it's a culture around here. Convinced by the reframing power of failure, teachers are willing to create redemption in their daily classroom instruction and similar cycles of failure. Educators brought by the management to the school should ensure they model students to be friendly with failure (Adams, 26). With the created environment they enable students to prepare for transformative success both in colleges and High schools.
With all these we get to derive the benefits of failure where any error is made, it enables one to take a different approach and tackle the task effectively. One will have learnt about the new approach well. With failure, one can easily tell what did not work and learn from that. Nature as well shows how errors and trials can be resourceful in making changes. For example, an error in genetic mutation will be carried over from one generation to another this showing were it not for the error in mutation of first amoeba we would not be there.
In a situation where one is asked the reaction after termination from work, they explain it was a traumatic situation and saw as if it was the end of living. Afterwards the same people are asked the same question and they answer it was the best thing that have ever happened to them. This illustration explains out of failure they came to learn things they had not learnt, they developed themselves by looking at both their weaknesses and strengths with no delusions (Mruthyunjaya, 40).
With the attitude of considering failure as wrong, one learns not to make mistakes and not taking many chances, putting one in a position of not trying to fail which is a wrong motive. A person's failures are the ones that strike forcefully and make one to think of doing something differently, better. Failure should be used as a stepping stone to undiscovered ideas and methods.
Adams, W R. Viewpoints: Readings Worth Thinking and Writing About. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Edmondson, Amy C, and Susan S. Reynolds. Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation. , 2016. Internet resource.
Mruthyunjaya, H C. Knowledge Management. New Delhi: PHI Learning, 2011. Print.
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