Room for Error

In most professions it is common to talk about successes. Only a few professions (like the aviation industry) are used to talk about mistakes, or how they like to call it ‘near misses’. They use these near misses to learn more about aviation and  create a safer industry by doing so. In education we can learn a lot from our ‘near misses’ or maybe we should call them mishaps: “thing that could have gone wrong”. When we open up our classrooms and courses for mishaps (and successes) we can then start to redesign education on a specific way, without writing and discussing first. Let’s fix education!

Earlier this year (2017) I conducted a cultural probe on mistakes and successes by makers. These makers are open to make mistakes and share those insights with others. By doing so they encounter new opportunities and learn new stuff all the time. It has become an attitude to do so. Something they had to (re)learn. I would like to repeat this probe, but this time with teachers from secondary education. I want to know what mistakes / mishaps they encounter in their work and what successes they like to share with others. Are these insights really helping education? Let’s find some room for error!


Questions I’d like to address:

  • What do teachers do with their mishaps?
  • (How) Do mishaps make us better?
  • How do mishaps help to improve education (from within)


(hoover on text, there are links behind!)

/ Living Atlas: Makers Making Mistakes
Releasing insights on the value of mistakes, the sort of mistakes, the amount of mistakes and the reflection on them. This cultural probe is ready for a redesign and set-up in education!

/ Cultural Probe: Teachers Making Mistakes [currently in progress (n=5)]

/ Conversations on Teachers as Designers