Without taking risks innovation is impossible.
‘Great artists can do one thing for the rest of their lives, but not really be successful to themselves.’ – Steve Jobs
Failing IS an Option – Space Travel, Music Icons and Harnessing the Power of ‘Desirable Difficulties’
Legendary NASA Flight Director, Mr. Gene Kranz, famously declared that ‘Failure Is Not an Option’ while engineering the safe return of the Apollo 13 crew. Though this approach is essential when lives hang in the balance, it may not be the mantra to adopt when designing deeper learning experiences for our students. Recent research suggests that creativity and understanding are the silver lining of struggle. Furthermore, bands like the Beatles, who took great artistic risks, ended up fundamentally changing modern music. Surprisingly, immediate feedback models and instant performance measurements can actually be misinterpreted as true student understanding, while our own life experiences suggest that difficulty, uncertainty and mistakes provide the canvas for long-term memory. This keynote will make the case that if we want to increase student learning and promote competencies such as critical thinking and problem-solving, we need to embrace modes of inquiry, risk and exploration in which failing is certainly an option.