"Every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."
Rebranding the idea of failure to build the confidence of young people and help them unlock their potential for creativity.
Through a series of hands-on experiences, young people will use design thinking to solve real-world problems, and in doing so, will begin to understand and master their creative confidence.
Through a supportive and playful environment, we will make clear the need for failure as part of any successful creative process. Getting it wrong is getting it right.
Everything we do will be built on a system of values that ladder back to our vision.
- Independent thinking. Owning your creative confidence is personal.
- Experience, not theory. Lasting and meaningful outcomes through practice.
- Empathy and trust. We know it's hard, so we'll catch you when you fall.
Our values are expressed by the way we behave. Our personality is the thing that we become known for.
- Straight talking - we tell it like it is.
- Enduring - we start and keep going.
- Dependable - we are always there.
- Light-hearted - if it's not fun we're not doing it right.
Below is a rough outline for a session that I designed and had tested. We introduced a simple Smart Failure points system (with a prize of tea and cake for hitting a target) as a way to help kids engage with the process and feel less self conscious about their contribution as they were working towards a common goal.
Results were good. Lots of participation (achieved 3x target points), plus some good suggestions/ideas. Unexpected benefits in that the kids were able to relate the process to their language learning generally (being relaxed about failure, building on contributions from others, etc.). Not sure if the points system is right though (seems contrived somehow), but it definitely helped with motivation and confidence to participate.
Needs more testing - ideally with a group that is known to lack confidence.
Part 1 (Look) 15 minutes
Students visit adjacent classrooms to observe lessons in progress. They have to write down everything that they notice about the environment and how it is being used.
Part 2 (List) 15 minutes
Back together, students call out the things they have observed, first ‘Problems’ then ‘Insights’.
Part 3a (Try) 15 minutes
Students brainstorm ideas to address problems or build on insights (e.g. how might we..?). They are encouraged to create lots of ideas, defer judgement, build on each others ideas, suggest wild ideas, etc.
Part 3b (Try) 15 minutes
Students ‘dot vote’ their favourite ideas in silence (3 votes each). Short discussion. Students super-vote their favourite ideas (1 vote each). The idea with the most votes is tested next lesson.
Part 1a (Test) Before the lesson
Teacher prepares for the lesson using the most popular idea to improve the classroom environment. Students given opportunity to help create the prototype.
Part 1a (Test) 45 minutes
Teacher conducts lesson as planned.
Part 1a (Test) 15 minutes
Teacher conducts lesson retrospective to evaluate the idea (e.g. If we did this every lesson, what would we keep, stop, start?). Previous ideas can be suggested again as things that we should ‘start’.