Why mistakes must be celebrated

Roger Titcombe's Learning Matters

I have just read a book by Matthew Syed entitled ‘Black Box Thinking‘ (2015), John Murray.

Despite the title, it is about, learning from mistakes. The ‘black box’ reference is literal. It refers to the black box data in crashed aircraft that provide the evidence needed to learn from mistakes that caused or contributed to the crash. It addresses a vast range of bad event contexts from airline safety through deaths and harm caused by medical errors, the mental contortions of politicians faced with dire negative consequences of their decisions ( eg invading Iraq), the unwillingness of police and prosecutors to accept the innocence of those wrongly convicted of serious crimes when subsequently vindicated by solid evidence (often DNA), to wrong-headed decision making in business, scientific research, sport and more.

It is a powerful articulation of the vital, perhaps universal, role of mistakes in all deep learning.

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Consciously Cruel ‘no-excuses’ policies…in the Job Centre and at School.

Most children have a REASON…..not an excuse.

Daisy Norfolk Notes...


Those of you who have got to know me on twitter over the last few months may have been aware that there was a charity screening in Norwich recently of the film I, Daniel Blake. I’ll be honest with you, I had not actually seen the film before seeing it at this screening, and although I had meticulously read the screenplay, it in no way prepared me for the on-screen ‘kick-in-the-guts’ this film delivered.

Whilst hunkering down in the plush seats at Cinema City, with the 106 other folks who had purchased tickets, I began to think about the underlying themes of the film. Those of friendship, compassion and resilience in the face of adversity. Daniel Blake exhibited all of these traits in spades, yet he was defeated by a system which did not value any of them. Daniel struggles against a benefits system designed to make it difficult to…

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Ed Blog Reader - A digest of interesting writing on educational issues


Originally posted on EducatingHeartsBlog:

This week, a teacher, accompanying children on a school trip to the US, was asked to leave the plane in Reykjavik.

What does that make you feel? What questions does it raise?

He wasn’t given an explanation regarding why he was taken off the plane, but rather just given some hotel vouchers in order spend 24 hours in a country he hadn’t intended on spending any time in.

What does that make you feel? What questions does it raise?

This teacher was Muslim.

What does that make you feel? What questions does it raise?

Throughout my first week back after half term, I have spent many a moment thinking about my colleague, Juhel- the young, Welsh maths teacher who was sadly removed from a plane and not allowed to travel to the US with his pupils . Empathy has been often discussed on Twitter (and other…

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