“Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.” – Arianna Huffington

“There are two words for learning. One of them is a failure.”

You have experienced times of significant intellectual struggle when you found yourself wrestling to understand a concept, skill, or other cerebral challenges. And you have experienced that sweet moment of success, that “Eureka!” moment, that eudaemonistic euphoria of the breakthrough. That moment makes the struggle worthwhile, leaves you feeling that you have earned the knowledge, and builds your self-image as a lifelong learner.  

This week we talk about Productive Struggle!

Lessons Learned

Dennis – You don’t have to know how to use a technology tool or device 100% before you let kids use it.

Chris Carter – I can easily miss emotional realities that are right in front of me. A smiling student is no guarantee of a happy student. I have to always have my “subtle clues” lens on as often as I can train myself.

Notes & Links

Productive Struggle vs Destructive Struggle (PDF)


Productive Struggle for Deeper Learning (PDF)


How Productive Failure Leads to Better Learning


How to Design a Classroom Built on Openness and Trust


Math & Inquiry: The Importance of Letting Students Stumble


Overcoming the Fear of Being Wrong: 20 Ways to Help Your Students


Why Making Mistakes is What Makes Us Human


8 Ways Smart People Use Failure to Their Advantage


Strategies for Learning from Failures


“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.”  -Dr. Laura

Example from BreakoutEDU experience –   As a teacher it is SO difficult to see students struggle with a puzzle and NOT do anything to help them.  You ask if they want help, and they say “No, I want to figure this out myself.”  This is what happens when learning is engaging and taps into their natural curiosity.