Learning how to fail

[post written by Roger Loxley]

I’m an average, but keen, golfer and always in search of improvement.  I don’t practice enough and so inevitably make the same mistakes year after year.  I’ve not learned how to fail well and thus am not making progress.


I used this as a vehicle for getting students to understand that the responsibility for success lies with them.  But they need to take several steps, with support from teachers, to turn failure into success.

  1. Understand what a good performance looks like.  For me, in golf, this could be a video of my swing, but for a student it would be a model answer perhaps.
  2. Get some feedback on how your current performance differs from the ideal.  For me this is watching myself swing a club and comparing it with the ideal.  This needs to be done with help from a teacher/coach so that students can understand why their performance is different.
  3. Practice the right way of doing it.  This is going to the range and hitting balls.  For a student it’s about writing essay plans or doing other questions.  This takes time and real effort; it’s not going to happen overnight and requires resilience, persistence and reflection.
  4. Use the feedback to change your performance so you correct mistakes.  Learn from the failure so you turn your performance into success.

Teachers can’t do this for students it’s something students have to do on their own, but with teacher help and support.  By doing this, students will reap the rewards of their efforts and will be able to bask in the glory of success well earned.



2 responses to “Learning how to fail

  1. Pingback: Brendan Rogers and Growth Mindset – Assembly Notes | The View From the Maths Bunker·

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