Encyclopedia of Educational Innovation

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters, Richard Heraud

Safe-to-Fail Experiments

  • Dawn GarbettEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2262-4_93-1


Safe-to-fail experimentation is a pedagogical strategy of value in teacher education because it makes explicit to student teachers the complexity inherent in teaching and learning about teaching. Small-scale, safe-to-fail experiments can be used to probe an issue in ways that create space for patterns of behavior to emerge and be responded to in the moment. These behaviors are unpredictable and unknown until such time as they appear in context. Teaching is explicated as a complex endeavor that does not follow simple rules or lead to predictable outcomes. Student teachers are encouraged to learn from successes as well as failures when the risk is controlled. They learn that their practice must be responsive and adapt to teaching and learning as it unfolds in a complex and dynamic teaching situation. The rationale for adopting this nonlinear strategy is that student teachers, after years of observing their own teachers, believe that teaching is simple and straightforward or...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Curriculum and PedagogyThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alan Ovens
    • 1
  • Kathryn Strom
  1. 1.School of Curriculum and PedagogyThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand