Month: April 2015

Trying and Failing

In the Easter break perhaps, like me, you have a little time for reading. I came across a couple of newspaper articles that I thought might interest some of you.

The first summarises advice from Harry Potter author JK Rowling on failing. She  has a new book out, Very Good Lives: the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination. Rowling’s message is that failure can be a very educational experience. The only trouble is that its lessons are often hard ones, only valued some time later in retrospect. I have often thought that it would be good to find ways to incorporate the experience of failure into our curriculum but it’s not likely to be a popular move, given students’ (quite reasonable) preoccupation with getting good grades and the College’s preoccupation with student satisfaction surveys…

On a related note there are perhaps lessons on failure for the department in this piece, which describes a mis-firing attempt to introduce literacy and numeracy lessons to communities in small villages in Bangladesh.