Innovation and creativity are being taught out of us at an early age, because we have a high likelihood of failure when trying something new and untested, and in our test based school system, failure is unacceptable, so that makes trying something new extremely risky to students.
But failure is our greatest teacher.
If we aren’t failing on a regular basis, that means that we aren’t trying hard enough. We are stuck inside our safe comfort zone and not really growing and expanding our knowledge and experience.
Thomas Edison famously attempted to create the lightbulb with 10,000 failures before he finally succeeded. His response to that was:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Is there a new Thomas Edison in an elementary school or high school today? Or has that innovation and determination already been squashed right out of him?
Our Education System Is Killing Innovation
Will the next generation, the school kids of today, see another Edison? Or have we already squashed those 10,000 failed attempts out of him?
Will future generations include someone willing to fail 10,000 times to create a game changing invention and an innovation for the ages?
Or is that reserved for the older generations that were willing and able to fail, before we “educated” them that failing was a bad thing and that they shouldn’t veer too far from the accepted normal, stay inside the lines, don’t venture outside the box or you will get the answer wrong, as if every problem only has a single correct answer and there is only one solution or way to achieve the end result to every problem.
If innovation is reserved for the older generations, then what is going to happen in a couple of decades when all those innovators are dead and gone? Will our society be doomed to stagnation?
Have we taught creativity completely out of our society and our school system?
Or is there still a chance that a future Edison is in elementary school or even high school today? Or is it too late and he already “learned” not to keep trying and failing so much.
Are we going to allow him to fail and learn from those mistakes and finally flourish, or have we already taught him that failure is unacceptable, and thus taught that invention and innovation right out of him?
I hope I’m wrong about our education system killing innovation and we haven’t already squashed out of existence that new invention that takes 10,000 failures before it is discovered, because I am really curious to know what it will be.
Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below, and as always a social share would be much appreciated.
Have A Prosperous Day!