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Teacher Uses Failure as a Learning Tool

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Struggling to pay attention in your coursework given your burning desire to fulfill your passion? You’re not alone. Not only do you exist amongst other talented but distracted millennials, there are also “elders” who stand firmly behind your desires. Researchers and experienced business owners hope to rid the current educational mold, and make room for individual development. Maggie Blaha, Special to CNN, recaps the possibility of exposing untapped talent and irrefutable potential in the classroom. Say good-bye to the pay-check driven team player, and hello to the new-wave entrepreneur.

Cameron Herold started his first company at 21. Herold was raised to be an entrepreneur when his father realized that his son was not likely to be a model student or employee. Herold possessed little interest in school, struggling to pay attention in class, genuinely believing that the school system was trying to mold him into something he was not. The Canadian based business mentor believes parents could do a better job of nurturing “entrepreneurial traits”.

“Let your weaknesses be your weaknesses,” says Harold. “Let’s teach kids according to their abilities.” Standing firmly behind this statement Herold hopes that more schools will build students’ confidence in areas that match their interest and abilities, rather than focusing on improving areas where they struggle.

Herold doesn’t stand alone in his educational beliefs. Michigan high school English teacher Nicholas Provenzano launched “20 Time” – a classroom based program that gives students an opportunity to explore topics that interest them. These students are then asked to keep blogs that document their progress. The students received only one hour of class time per week for the projects, but most youth invested time outside of the classroom. Students’ projects ranged from training to run a marathon to knitting hats for newborns to developing a mobile game app to designing and selling clothes.

Provenzano says the project helps students lead their own learning, and understand how to recover from failure – one of the core lessons of entrepreneurship. He wanted his students to understand and accept that failure is a part of life. They would learn this by taking risks in the real world, growing from real world experience.

“I teach my kids to fail spectacularly and grow from that experience,” says Provenzano. “To be effective problem solvers and critical thinkers, failure has to be an accepted part of the process and not something that should stop people from trying.”

This post is also featured at ChampionDreams.com.

Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.

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