Learning to fail ‘good for students’
A school that sets up students for failure is challenging the “everyone wins a prize’’ approach linked by psychologists to rising rates of teenage depression.
St Paul’s School in Brisbane has a “design to fail’’ lab, where students build prototypes destined to fail and persevere with them until they succeed.
Students build, say, a poorly designed bridge or a chair likely to break then collaborate in teams to identify problems with the prototype and rectify them — no matter how many attempts it takes.
The Anglican school’s head of design learning, Tim Osborne, said the unorthodox approach helped make children more resilient. “Once you’re out in the real world, not everyone wins a prize,’’ he said yesterday.
“Young people today give up way too easily. There’s a generation of kids out there afraid of failure … Children need to learn that failing doesn’t equal failure.’’