Analysis Of When Success Leads To Failure Essay

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In When Success Leads to Failure, Jessica Lahey is faced with a tough situation involving a student, whose love for learning is fading, and a parent who does not seem to understand why. Lahey establishes that parents are starting to teach children to fear failure, and the fear is what is destroying their love for learning (Lahey). I support Lahey’s proposition that kids are beginning to hate learning because children are taught that failure is not an option. In today’s society, many teachers and especially parents push children to only strive for success and to fear failure, which results in many children’s growing hatred for learning. Jessica Lahey, author of When Success Leads to Failure, states that students are being taught to measure…show more content…
The children see failure as not being as smart as everyone tells them they are or simply stating the wrong answer to a question the teacher asks (Lahey). From creating this fear of failing comes the hatred of learning. Kids are beginning to learn that “mistakes are something to avoid” and as a result you have students who “are afraid to take risks, to be creative, [and] to be wrong” because they associate being wrong as being a failure (Tugend). Kids understand that mistakes will happen, and from these mistakes you should learn, but are being taught to try to avoid mistakes because it is too big of a risk for their grades and also other students and parent’s views of them. For example, in high-school students have the choice to take general, honors, or advanced placement classes. In the past, more and more students would take the advanced placement classes, which were a lot harder than honors and general and could possibly make lower grades than they would make in the other classes, but would be constantly challenged and learning more than they would in the honors and general classes. In today’s society, more students are being encouraged by their parents and peers to settle for the honors and even general classes, so they can guarantee acceptable grades and not have to try too hard to make those grades. Even though the students in the advanced placement classes may not be viewed as smart…show more content…
First, Jacobson states that children need to receive better feedback from their teachers to show them that what they are doing is correct. Jacobson further describes the need for external rewards, such as a good job or keep it up. Another way to reveal feedback is to visually show them how they have improved, such as showing students the charts that reveal their reading level has increased (Jacobson). Positive feedback and encouragement from whom the students look up to, their teachers, not only pushes children to do better, but also shows that the teachers are aware and proud of the improvements that are being made. Jacobson then states that asking open-ended questions allows students to get on the mindsets of learning from their personal thoughts and less of answering just to get the right answer. By asking open-ended questions in the classroom with everyone silent, it allows the students to gather their individual response to the question and gives them time to think about their answer, which in the end builds confidence (Jacobson). Jacobson’s last idea to influence students is to engage the disengaged. He refers to this as calling on the students who seem to be avoiding your open class discussions (Jacobson). By doing this, the teacher allows for every student to build his
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