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The Freedom to Fail

Malcolm Bellamy


With so much emphasis on success and testing in today's school culture, a major lesson is being missed in our classroom: the lesson that experiencing failure is an inevitable step on your way to success.

Here are two videos to help launch discussion in your classroom on giving students the freedom to fail.



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I love this video because it shows the importance of failure. I just wonder about the direction that education is currently taking with the overemphasis on testing and examination success.


We need to consider the fact that the key skills that industry and commerce look for are innovation, the ability to take risks and be creative. There is an awareness when a project is started that it may  well go wrong. We cannot expect perfection in just one hit… there will be ups and downs and indeed there will be much frustration… but in the end the process can lead to success.


The present situation is leading to many students who are frightened to fail and this is not a good thing. As I have stated in past blogs, countries like China are now changing their school system to reflect a more creative, risk taking culture.


On top of this, they are promoting the idea of collaboration and teamwork. We work as a group and we bounce ideas off of each other. We often fail but we learn from our mistakes.


Does this really reflect the individualised, exam-success-seeking student that the schools are promoting at present? I do not think so.

Unusually for me I am putting in a second video in this blog.  It is the famous quote from Michael Jordan about how he had to fail in order to succeed. We need to let our children know the importance of this process for their futures… and ours.



How do you encourage students to accept failure and keep on trying? Share in the comments section!


Republished with permission from Malcolm Bellamy. Find the original article and more posts by Malcolm on his blog.


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