CEP 812 – Week 4

The Problem of Failure – An Infographic

This week in CEP 812 we were challenged to create an Infographic that framed the wicked problem we are tackling. In my case, it is embracing “Failure As A Learning Mode.”

When examining the problem of practice, it is clear that the problem cannot be solved through pedagogy alone. In order for failure to be accepted as a mode of learning and growth, there must be an entire paradigm shift by all stakeholders, including teachers, parents, students, schools and even legislatures. The large basis of our work is in adopting mindsets in which failure is not only allowed, but DESIRED.

“Showing students how to learn from failure also raises both yours and your students’ expectations. When you use failure as a learning experience rather than a referendum on your teaching or your students’ abilities, you start to see the possibilities rather than the limitations for your students” (Mindstep, 2016). 

Why Failure is a Wicked Problem


  • are often evaluated based on “high-stakes” testing. Allowing failure risks a low evaluation.
  • are focused students meeting standards. Allowing time to fail means a delay in meeting objectives.
  • are often perfectionists and are uncomfortable themselves with failure.


  • are grade oriented. To them, failure = bad grade.
  • view failure as a lack of achievement, failing to see the lesson as an achievement in of itself.
  • are pushed by parents, schools, and society to achieve at a high level. Failure has a negatively associated social stigma


  • have high hopes for their children, including college. Failure is associated with negative performance, and in their minds, a lack of opportunity.
  • blame failure on the teacher. They lack the perspective of failure as opportunity for growth.


  • are tied to growth accountability measures. Failure risks a reduction in funding.
  • failure is not designed to fit in the system of education as we know it. Education, from grading to grade levels are based on achievement.

What are your views on failure? Comment with your thoughts!

To read our final group paper on the subject of “Failure as a Learning Mode”, please CLICK HERE.