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Beautiful Failures – our October forum

In November 2014, journalist Lucy Clark published an article that resonated with hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Sharing the story of her eldest daughter, whose high school experience was a daily battle, Lucy chose to look at her daughter’s educational “failure” another way: by rethinking the meaning of success.  This became the subject of her book Beautiful Failures.

ALL recently hosted a forum Beautiful Failures at the State Library Victoria with Lucy Clark, Peter Hutton (Principal, Templestowe College) and Eric Sidoti (Whitlam Institute). Justine Hyde (Director Library Services and Experiences, State Library Victoria) introduced the forum, and Ellen Koshland moderated the discussion. 

Around 100 people braved a wintry October evening to hear more about the pressure-cooker world of 21st century education, the way we measure success, and how it can be harmful to students.

Central to the discussion were a number of questions including why is there so much pressure on students today, and where does it come from? Why do we define success in such narrow terms? Are parents too competitive when it comes to their children and their ‘successes’? What should education be, and how can we change schools to create the sort of society we want?

“What emerged from the evening was there are no easy solutions, and there is no one solution fixes all, either,” Ellen Koshland said.

“However, one of the questions that clearly resonated was what is the nature of success we want to take forward in today’s world.  ALL intends to pursue this question."