Meaningful Failure

I will be hosting a roundtable at Meaningful Play. Information about it can be found here.

In short, I think failure is very productive, but how do we leverage that failure for the benefit of players? I’m actually looking at the effect of failure on people’s perceptions of themselves as well. Right now I’m looking at self efficacy, but I know that this can also manifest as labels and learning disabilities. There is a great article by Ray McDermott that I’ve been citing showing these effects:

Failure has transformed from simply not succeeding to something that determines the opportunities available to students. Failure becomes a label by which a student’s mental faculties are assessed. In its most malicious form, a failure can even manifests itself as a learning disability. At this point it has devastating effects on how the student views themselves, and how society views the student (McDermott, Goldman, & Varenne, 2006). With so much at stake it is no surprise that students do not wish to fail.

That’s actually exactly why I think failure is interesting. You can learn so much from it, yet it can also be quite devastating.

Thoughts about Failure? Leave them in the comments.