Written by: Darren Bilton – Academic Deputy Head, Framlingham College Prep School
It’s taken a while, but slowly I have realised that children must be left to make mistakes. When they are allowed to fail, then it’s vital we value the educational benefits this brings and not feel it is a dereliction of duty. Mistakes require time investment, and the current system continues to reward learning that is a mile wide and an inch deep rather than developing a real mastery, love and deep, understanding of a subject. We are raising a generation terrified of failing, of making the occasional blunder or of simply being asked to answer a difficult question in class, which results in them sitting in some discomfort for a few seconds. This is stifling creativity, increasing anxiety and ultimately preventing children learning and being able to compete in a dramatically changing world.
I am proud to work in a school that encourages students to take risks, make gaffs and be responsible for their actions. I want students and teachers to work hard together to achieve a common goal – learning. There is no reason why this cannot be enjoyable, providing them with the necessary skill set to be happy and successful in anything they choose to do.