So here I am sat at an indoor skatepark watching my son (and about 20 other kids (who happen to be all boys today)) let off some steam. I am casually observing their conversations and in particular their enthusiasm and support for each other.
The amount of peer support they give each other (whether long established friends or new acquaintances) is quite astounding. For these boys this is their natural learning landscape, learning by doing, failing (usually with a dramatic crash) and then getting up and trying it again.
I know from my own sons experience that his formal learning is not like this and I fear that it is failing him, in the fact that he doesn’t feel like he is able to ‘fail’ at school. I am sure it’s not just my child that feels it must be ‘correct’ first time and I have seen first hand how demoralising and demotivating it can make him feel.
It’s about time that we recognised failure as a positive experience, through which we can explore alternatives, adapt approaches. In this skatepark today I have seen first hand how learning through failure & peer support can bring about success & achievement – and there wasn’t a teacher in sight.