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Principal’s Panui – 17 August 2018


It’s only a failure if you don’t learn something from the experience.

FAIL – First Attempt is Learning

Mistakes and failures are keys to learning. They make our brain begin compiling information about the experience and grow bigger. While the brain returns to close to its original size after the learning experience, it retains new neural pathways by taking in new information, compiling the key takeaways from trial and error.

Making mistakes matures the brain, resulting in more efficient synapses and fundamentally altered neurons. In short, failure can actually make you smarter. But not all mistakes are the same.


Preventable: These are a sign of insufficient training or knowledge and can be avoided by filling the gaps.

Unavoidable: Here the complexity or uncertainty of the task makes mistakes quite likely and the trick is to learn from small mistakes to avoid bigger ones.

Intelligent: These failures are at the frontier of learning, where mistakes are seen as essential to gaining new knowledge and moving forward.

Acknowledgment: “The Power of Failure” by Donna Orem in Independent School, Summer 2018


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