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ERIC Number: EJ774503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Educational Leadership: Failure to Use Our Imagination
Glickman, Carl
Phi Delta Kappan, v87 n9 p689-690 May 2006
Failure is inevitable and can be conducive to great learning and discovery. However, some failures exact too high a human cost to justify. All of this may sound like a contradiction: freedom to fail and avoidance of human cost at the same time. However, the crux of the matter is coming to understand how leadership supports failures in order to learn about success, so that ultimately the human benefits outweigh the human costs. The answer may lie in learning from one another, looking at research, and sharing one's own failures and successes, so that one can learn to move more directly toward success. Today, measuring the accomplishments of students, teachers, and schools by standardized test scores and handing out rewards and punishments for reaching or failing to reach state and federal standards has become commonplace. In such a climate, everyone typically errs too much on the side of avoiding failure by relying on externally approved "research-based" programs, teaching methods, and assessments that are officially promoted by state and federal governments. What is lost in the bargain is imagination. Failure cannot go unchallenged, but what everyone has today is his/her own failure to imagine new possibilities. There is no tragedy in reaching for the stars and falling short; the greatest tragedy is never reaching at all. (Contains 1 endnote.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A