Positive Failure – A New Hypothesis Against Mandatory Success.

This paper will consider current research, including research undertaken by myself on if failure in a safe and secure environment in education is beneficial from a student, curriculum and national point of view. In my forthcoming PhD research I will seek to add evidence to the outcome for children of ‘persistence’ which will play a key role in the international study being undertaken with CREC, NFER & the DPC in the study:
‘How early Childhood Education Contributes to Children’s Outcomes’

My position from a theoretical standpoint is congruent with Donald Schon’s (1963) essence in that, we constantly find ourselves in disorienting situations [in learning] which must be conceptually ‘re-framed’, and until we discover through ‘frame-experiments’ a conceptual frame-work for the new situation we cannot even begin to determine what the relevant facts are, or what evaluative criteria apply.

My methodology will include a qualitative, transformative and appreciative inquiry approach driven by ethnographic observation of four teachers with a long-term objective of having a positive impact on children’s future life chances and social mobility. I will also use quantitative data from the study mentioned above. I propose to explore the alleged high stakes testing & mandatory success culture in education and contextual/policy reasons for this. How does this effect teachers self-efficacy, ability to take risks and what traits are being passed on to the children?