Ryerson University (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 3088-3096
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1691
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
With the rise of entrepreneurial approaches to all industries, Samuel Beckett’s “Fail Again. Fail Better” mantra has been embraced by educators at all levels, most notably in postsecondary institutions. While current educators subscribe to the pedagogical ideals of experimentation and entrepreneurship to facilitate experiential learning opportunities, it is often at odds with the inherent desire for students to achieve excellence in conventional quantifiable metrics of learning. The hyper-quantification and rubrics of student learning has instilled a prioritization of grades over truly relevant education. Where educators aspire to encourage students to apply their knowledge in new ways and in new contexts to spur innovation, regardless of completely successful outcomes, students are often reluctant given traditional metrics of academic success and a fear of failure. This paper provides an evolving four-point model of experiential learning that provides an infrastructure for safe failure. By clearly defining project parameters, experimentation from first principles, engaging ownership, and designing for contingency, this model facilitates affords students the ability to reduce the fear of failure while providing an uncompromising learning experience. The methodology of this paper consists of an outline of select projects undertaken within academic contexts in one of Canada's leading universities which houses one of the world's top technology accelerators, several disciplinary incubators, and the largest architecture program in the country. Citing several key paradigms from industries ranging from architecture to software and initiatives from conventional classrooms to extracurricular non-profit initiatives, the authors reaffirm the conclusion that the four-point model is an invaluable step in the evolution of embracing failure as a learning mechanism.
Entrepreneurship, pedagogy, experiential learning, failure.