Being fearless in the face of error

 

Sublime Turbulence

‘Sublime Turbulence’ Robert Rice Flickr Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

I was fortunate enough to hear David Eagleman talk at Auckland’s recent Writer’s Festival.

Eagleman is a neuroscientist and writer (https://www.eagleman.com/) and was sharing his thoughts on creativity.

This was of great interest to me as my own students in the Media and Communications in Health Promotion course are reaching the end of the semester and after rounds of presentations and cycles of formative feedback, this week they presented their creative projects. They had minimal instructions but lots of encouragement to try out new things and spend time reflecting on the learning process. Eagleman talked of ‘being fearless in the face of error’. That too often we stop at the first hurdle or see these hurdles as evidence we have failed, forgetting that with each round of trial and error essential refinements can be made. This really stayed with me, as I reflected further on our students and the invitation we gave them to try, and possibly to fail, and to reflect, and to tweak, and to try again. This seemed to be a new concept to them with many reporting that usually they hand in work and it is marked and there is not the same opportunities for these cycles of growth.

So- maybe we need to ensure that making and learning from errors is a more prominent part of the learning experience, to support students to stay with a problem, to develop grit and perseverance.

More focus on process than product.

Fully embracing the turbulence of learning.

 

 

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