Why Schools—Not Just Start-Ups—Need to Fail Fast
If you’re an educator, the disruptive world of Silicon Valley probably couldn’t seem farther from your local public school system. But what you may not realize is that the techniques that start-ups prize are already changing the way educators across the country implement changes in their school systems. In today’s fraught political and educational climate, schools would do well to look for inspiration wherever they can find it—and one of the most important lessons educators can borrow is from Silicon Valley. In order to succeed, the lesson goes, you have to be willing to fail fast.
We’re familiar with the word “failure” being slung at our schools, of course, but with a much different tone, and in a much different context. The idea of “failing schools” is so prevalent in the media that Huffington Post has an entire tag dedicated to the subject. But is it possible to reframe our view of what “failing” can mean? Might the rhetoric of Silicon Valley—its emphasis on iteration, its embrace of a new type of failure—have something to offer our classrooms? I’ve worked with enough schools to be able to answer definitively: yes.
About Anthony Kim
Anthony Kim is a Corwin Press bestselling author, with publications including The New Team Habits, The New School Rules, and The Personalized Learning Playbook. His writing ranges the topics of the future of work, leadership and team motivation, improving the way we work, and innovation in systems-based approaches to organizations and school design. Anthony believes that how we work is the key determinant to the success of any organization. He is a nationally recognized speaker on learning and his work has been referenced by the Christensen Institute, iNACOL, EdSurge, CompetencyWorks, Education Week, District Administration, and numerous research reports. In addition to his writing, Anthony is the founder and Chief Learning Officer of Education Elements, a trusted partner and consultant to over 1,000 schools nationwide. Anthony has been the founder of several companies across multiple industries, including online education, ecommerce, and concerts and events.