‘Failure lessons’ in Australian schools

   That year, at the invitation of my Australian friend Macpherson, I went to Australia for a study tour. McPherson, Head of Teaching at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School in Australia, took me on a full tour of Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School. Although many teaching methods in Australia are refreshing to me, the one that attracts me the most is the “failure class” of this school.
   “Failure Class” is a new course offered at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School, with only one class per week. The purpose of the “failure class” is to exercise students’ mental health and spiritual resilience. The purpose of “Failure Class” is to fail, be brave, take risks, and try to innovate.
   The highlight of the “Failure Class” is the student’s failure testimonials. In the week before the “failure class”, the teacher assigns students an assignment to complete in a week, but the assignment is usually not completed within a week (a small number of students may be able to complete it). When some students fail to turn in qualified homework in the “failure class”, the teacher will let these students stand on the podium to express their “failure testimonials”.
   In order to allow me to understand and feel the “failure class” more intuitively, McPherson led me into a classroom where the “failure class” was being taught, and sat in the last row to observe the entire teaching process of the “failure class”. A math teacher stood on the podium, wrote a geometric proof problem on the blackboard, and then asked the students to solve the problem one by one. McPherson whispered to me: “This geometry proof problem is deliberately difficult, so that the students can’t solve it, and let the students face the failure face to face.” Sure enough, as McPherson said, the students were eager to take the stage. After solving the problem, they all walked down the stage in a dejected manner, and not a single student could solve the problem correctly.
   There was a lifeless atmosphere of failure in the classroom, and the students were silent with a look of depression and decadence on their faces. At this moment, the classroom door was pushed open, and the math teacher who gave the question stepped out of the podium, and a female scholar wearing glasses stepped onto the podium. McPherson whispered to me again: “This female scholar with glasses is Melissa, a psychology expert from the University of Queensland specially invited by us, who is specially here to give psychological counseling to the students.” In the class, Melissa began to Ask questions to the students, and then ask the students to walk up to the podium one by one and say aloud how they feel when they fail.
   When the students finished pouring out their feelings about failure, Melissa took the stage again and said to the students: “Failure is one or more stages that everyone must go through in life and cannot be avoided. It is just like us. There are stumbling blocks encountered on the road, we may trip over them and fall somersaults or break our knees, but we don’t need to panic and be afraid of this, we fall and get up again, and our knees are broken and bandaged. , and then pat the buttocks or rub the knees to get back on the road, continue to move towards our life goals, and still reach our life goals…”
   After class, I used ten minutes between classes to conduct live interviews with several students: “Do you like taking the ‘failure class’? What did you learn in the ‘failure class’?” A student named Rena said with emotion: “Everyone will face various failures sooner or later in life. , the sooner you learn how to deal with it, the better. If you accept your past failures, those failures will not hinder you, but will help you.”
   Walking out of the classroom, I was deeply touched. It was a bit unexpected for students to have such a profound understanding of failure after only one “failure class”. Melissa summed up to me: “What the ‘Failure Class’ wants to teach students the most is to let them understand the importance of failure and encourage them not to be afraid of failure, but to face it bravely.”

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