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Failure is not an option (but it should be)

Most of us recognise that to succeed we should expect to make mistakes along the way, but some argue that the education system is set up so that students are afraid to fail – and their learning is suffering as a result. Chris Parr reports

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Xiaodong Lin-Siegler is baffled. And she is frustrated. Because she knows you know what she knows about failure. But she also knows that this knowledge is not being acted upon nearly as often as it should be in schools.

“To anyone who has ever taught, mentored or managed others, the study of failure and its role in learning, growth and success is an enterprise so intuitively right that it is almost baffling that it hasn’t been taken up more deeply,” she says. “But despite the universal belief that failure is the mother of success, my observation is that [Western] schools and parents are doing ...

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