Blog #1 Erica Kessler
In Davidson’s chapter “Project classroom makeover”, she discusses failure. She writes, “Part of our failure rate in contemporary education can be blamed on the one-size-fits-all model of standards that evolved over the course of the twentieth century” (77). Strangely enough one of my most memorable learning experiences was failing a class my junior year of high school. I have always felt strongly that our education system was too standardized. Starting in ninth grade counselors work with high school students to aid them through the college process, students are told how to get into college – what needs to be done and when. When I was trying to juggle the college process and school work, I failed English, but what I learned by failing is something no one could have told me. After failing, I repeated my junior year at boarding school. I had a whole extra year to gain the skills that I would need to get through college. While there, my writing became clear and eloquent, my reading skills improved and I became an independent and confident student. Since I had always struggled with reading and writing due to dyslexia I was accustomed to having my English teachers allow me to slide by in class. This being said, originally I attributed my failure in English to having an English teacher who was unwilling to help me get by. But, looking back I realized my learning skills were not as developed as my peers. Had I not failed, I would have been another person ushered through the college processes, and no one would have assessed my readiness for the next step. Davidson writes in chapter four, “There is nothing better that students can take home over summer vacation then a sense of what they have learned the previous year has meant they were able to…to meet a challenge” (131). I was faced with the challenge to learn to accept and grow from my mistake. It is rare that one can say her failure prepared her for the next four years of her life, but for me, my failure provided me with the learning experience of a lifetime and prepared me for future success.