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ERIC Number: EJ1018873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
The Fail-Proof Student
Fiamengo, Janice
Academic Questions, v26 n3 p329-337 Sep 2013
In this article, the author comments on an unsigned newspaper piece titled "Helping Talent Rise to the Top," printed in Canada's "Globe and Mail" about a new measure to enhance student well-being at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The "Globe" piece lauds Queen's, a top-ranked Canadian undergraduate school, for its willingness to "foster talent, not sink it." The anonymous author claims that it is good for young people to "take risks" and not to fear failure. In other words, risk-taking is best encouraged when risk is minimized, when failing grades can be "erased" to enable students to disavow a bad term, as if it were little more than an unfortunate choice in hairstyle. To claim that there is no shame in honest failure while seeking to remove all possibility of such failure is actually to acknowledge that failing is something we do not expect our young people to overcome; they can and do, thus guaranteeing their ability to cope with life after university, where risk-takers do live with consequences, and where most people attempting worthy things fail more than once. Universities should be places where students are given the information, training, and legitimate support conducive to success, counseling services where needed, and kindness in abundance. Students must receive good and inspiring teaching, adequate scholarships, and a scholastic environment that rewards honesty, intellectual curiosity, academic commitment, high-quality writing, and hard work. The author concludes that only a system that rewards excellence, affirms the consequences of failure, and clearly distinguishes between the two will be a system that brings out the best in students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A