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July 21, 2005


Daniel Cowdrill

Your'e quite right. Both the article by Martyn Griffiths and my own comment, point out that failure is central to success. If you replace failure with 'deferred success' you are simply making the presumption that you will suceeed. This in a way takes the edge off experiencing failure, and forms less of an impetus to identify ways to improve. Furthermore, what if a student who has taken a particular subject simply isn't able to do better. In exams, a fail indicates that a student has been unable to meet the required score for the lowest grade. This might indicate that the student is better sutited for another subject.

James Hamilton

You're quite right, although I wish that you and the coiners of "deferred success" meant the same thing. My dreary suspicion is that all they want to do is downgrade success, not create a learning curve.

Laban Tall

"Could it be that those who object to the idea are those who regard education as a way of branding people, rather than as a means of developing their potential?"

No it couldn't.

(I presume by 'branding' you mean pigeon-holing rather than in the marketing or hot irons sense)


it's very comforting to read that failure is a springboard to success :) hope this isn't biasing our judgement of the merits of the case (sorry -couldn't resist)

EU Serf

Failure can be a spring board to success or a road to further failure.

As James says, the coiners of this phrase are against competition rather than recognising that we learn from failure.

Tom Morris

Part of being successful is recognising your failures and cutting your losses. For instance, I was at a crap university last year, doing a pointless course. I had to admit that it was a 'failure', cut my losses and move on.

But you can't cut your losses if you don't realise your losses. Saying that it's not a failure is mere sophistry, even with this justification.

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