Why Fail Forward?

The Power of Failing Forward: Case Studies

East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy:
A School with a "Growth Mindset"

Lime Design has worked with the East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy since 2009 to integrate design thinking into classrooms and school culture. At the culmination of the 2010 school year, this video was recorded of a student discussing how he learned to use failure as a catalyst for his life.  

“Challenging students to explore their own thinking and the thinking of others -- work that was inspired and supported by Lime Design -- has done more to shape me as an educator (and a person) than anything else I've experienced in my professional career. Through our work with Maureen and Leticia, I have realized the vision that will guide me as an educator: we must equip ourselves and our students with a growth mindset. I believe that Lime Design is developing the tools to help us realize that vision.”  
~ Mike Berman, Director of Development & Community Partnerships,
East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy

Fail Forward Friday at Woodside Priory


Lime Design's year-long professional development work at Priory culminated with Fail Forward Friday, a whole school day focused on reconceptualizing failure as a learning opportunity. The goal of Fail Forward Friday was for faculty members to try an instructional strategy that pushed them outside of their pedagogical comfort zone and engage in intellectual risk-taking. It was an incredible learning experience for everyone. The teachers celebrated both the failures and the successes of the day, and modeled the resilience that real world problem solving demands.

Read the Fail Forward Friday blog with stories from Priory teachers.

Corey's Amazing FFF Blog

Paul's Phresh Physicers Teaching Each Other

More stories of failing forward...


James Dyson (Inventor and Entrepreneur)

 "In Praise of Failure" (Wired UK)

"...The foundation encourages kids to fail. Or rather, not be afraid to fail: to experiment, test ideas and make something new. Students need an alternative to read-and-repeat. They need to use their heads and hands to identify problems and go about solving them. Taking things apart and developing new ways to do things. Not to be mistaken for playtime, it's how children develop critical thinking skills and the practical knowledge for how things work. And it's fun. "
 - James Dyson