image via flickr:CC | Mijos
In recent months, authors, school districts, and big thinkers have promoted failure as a valuable experience for young people, specifically students. The premise behind this argument could be valuable, as evidence exists showing students do best when they have space to wrestle and struggle when engaged in trial and error, design-based or problem-based learning. These research-defined terms and approaches have a long and successful history in educational practice and outcomes.
But if that’s the case, why are we pushing the use of such a loaded work like failure in our societal discourse on education? What does using a negative term such as failure as a way of indicating positive traits do to students and schools?