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Failure

published by Jill Heaton

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The failure PRoblem
Illinois Juniors who earned "College Ready" ACT scores in 2014
24.1%
853
25.3%
14%
Failure is common
D & F grades at York High School for 1st Quarter 2015 (student population: 2,700)
2014 college grads who are unemployed or underemployed
F
Illinois Public Schools making AYP in 2013
Is that a bad thing?
THE FAILURE LOOP
FIXED MINDSET
HARD FAILURE
BLAME-SHIFTING
POOR MODELING
STANDARDIZED TESTING
Students are quick to blame others for their inability to succeed, rather than reflecting on why they failed.
Teachers do not model a growth mindset or demonstrate to students how to respond to adversity.
When students fail in school, it is "hard failure": they are not expected to try again until they achieve success.
The prevalence of high-stakes testing  creates a culture that emphasizes finding the "right answers"    on just a few big tests each year.
Students think that their inability to succeed at something the first time means that they will never achieve success.
FAILURE IS NOT THE PROBLEM ...SUCCESS IS!
Over-emphasis on building self-esteem
Helicopter parenting
School policies encourage social promotion or prevent giving failing grades
Some students never learn how to fail well.
F
"Messy, 'outside of the box' thinking will be the new 'it' skill for future employees... If our students are going to be prepared for the 21st century professions, we have to make it safe to ask questions, to see adults and culture as fallible, and to experiment." - Wormeli
Are we helping them or hurting them?
FAILURE MISMATCH
POOR REASONS FOR FAILURE
GOOD REASONS FOR FAILURE
Task Challenge
Inattention
Lack of Ability
Uncertainty
Exploratory Testing
TOO MUCH HARD FAILURE
NOT ENOUGH SOFT FAILURE
Students fail assignments, classes, or tests because they have poor study skills, struggle with inattention or fixed mindset, or lack the foundational skills to succeed.  
If students are going to be prepared for jobs and life in the 21st century, they need more opportunities to learn how to tackle fuzzy problems, take risks, and persist in the face of challenges.  In this process, they will inevitably fail at some points.
Students often experience too much of the wrong kind of failure in school, and not enough of the right kind.
Are we doing enough to help students overcome these barriers?
Do students get enough experience with messy problems to be ready for the real world?
Dweck, C. (2007) .  Boosting Achievement with Messages that Motivate.  Education Canada, 47(2), 6-10. Edminson, A. (2011, April 1). Strategies for Learning from Failure. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from https://hbr.org/2011/04/strategies-for-learning-from-failure Gino, F., & Staats, B. (2015, November 1). Why Organizations Don't Learn. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from https://hbr.org/2015/11/why-organizations-dont-learn Rado, D.  (2015, October 30).  Most Illinois high schools leave grads unprepared for college. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-illnois-school-report-cards-met-20151030-story.html Total Number of Public Schools Making AYP: 2012-13 - ED Data Express. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://eddataexpress.ed.gov/data-element-explorer.cfm/tab/data/deid/4613/sort/sup/ Vallett, D.B. & Annetta, L. (2014).  Re-visioning K-12 education: Learning through failure - not social promotion.  Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 3(3), 174-188. Weissmann, J. (2014, May 8). How Bad Is the Job Market for the College Class of 2014? Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/05/08/unemployment_and_the_class_of_2014_how_bad_is_the _job_market_for_new_college.html Wormeli, R. (n.d.).   Failure Preferred, Actually.  Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://fhsresource.wikispaces.com/Teachers+Resources
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