It was our first full day back with all our students today so i got to meet both of my senior Design and Visual Communication classes. One of the classes in a mix of NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3 and the other class is a mix of NCEA Level 2 and 3.
We did some silly warm up design games and then I really wanted to talk to them early this year about the concept of failing. I asked them to write down what they thought of when they heard the word fail. This is some of what they said :-
Sad, exams, tests, depression, expectations, letting people down, loose
It was a very negative response to the word.
Then we talked about where they thought you could fail when you did design work :-
drawing, colour, ideas, thinking etc...
They looked at me like I had gone a little crazy at this point.
They need to understand that failing is a vital part of designing. Without failing you can't learn what does not work in a design situation.
We talked about different words that we use in the design process :-
Test, trial, try, prototype, model .....
These are al things we do where we learn from our mistakes and failures in the process.
Then I wrote 90% on the board.
They will not be happy with 90% of the design work or the way they did it in their sketch books. They need to get over this and see it as part of the process. Students are terrible at tearing out pages where they are not 100% happy with the work. They only want their "pretty" "best" work in their books.
I asked them to see their sketch books as the messy story behind the final piece of work. This final piece will be the "pretty" version, nicely presented etc. It needs it's messy story to go with it.
I don't think they were convinced today, to be hoest. I am going to have to keep supporting them on this way of thinking. I always do sketchbooks of work along with the students, so I will actively point out my 90%, say why I don't like it and highlight what I am learning from it by keeping it.