Monday, May 2, 2016

Learning to Fail ...

After going to the North Island GAFE Summit at the start of the holidays, I realised that there was definitely a theme going on of failure!!
When I got back, I decided to present failure as a topic to my senior classes as they are all at the point of starting design work for their projects.
I see design work all the time where the students have done one really good design and left it at that. There is nothing else on the page, like they don't want to "mess up" this good design with others that might not be as good.
I also see sessions where I know that students have worked well for the whole lesson but there is very little to show for it on the drawing sheets or in their sketch books. They rub out or tear up the designs that don't come up to their perceived idea of perfection.

Here is the presentation that we talked through today.

We talked about what goes on on the rugby pitch. Do they expect to go on and be Dan Carter straight away? What do they do?
Great answers came from the group....
...train, practice, repeating the same skill to get better, trying again...
We also applied this to learning a new computer game and how many times they get "killed" when they first start.
Then I asked them why this was ok in these situations and it didn't feel like "FAILING".
I tried to present failing as more of part of the design process and not as something that they should rip out of their sketch books as they think that everything needs to be some version of "perfect".
On the last slide, I tried to structure the process of failing in terms of SOLO taxonomy to try and get them to think about what is happening.
We came up with suggestions as a class and wrote them up on the board in the correct places.

What they need to get over is the FEAR of failure, so we have an unofficial ban on the FAIL word as it gives the wrong impression.
We shall now see if they can transfer these thoughts over to their design work this week.