Getting it wrong: How can we harness the power of failure in the ELT classroom?

I’ve always thought learning through failure is a great thing. It’s important to acknowledge when things go wrong, and evaluate what happened, and where to go from there.

Emily blogs

‘Mistakes are the portals of discovery.’ James Joyce

The opening of the Museum of Failure in Sweden has been in the news in recent months. The museum is noteworthy because as a society we’re often reluctant to admit to our failures. But this museum takes a different stance. It celebrates the prototypes that didn’t work out. Yes, many of these flops are funny. The fat-free crisps that give you diarrhoea, the biro “for her”, the green ketchup. Curator Dr Samuel West says, “I was tired of all the success stories.” What he’s really interested in is WHY these products failed. “I really hope that you see that these mega-brands that everybody respects, they screw up. I hope that makes you feel less apprehensive about learning something new. If you’re developing a new skill, trying to learn a new language or create something new, you’re going to fail. Don’t be ashamed of it. Let’s learn from…

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