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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