David Beckham had a huge capacity to learn from failure… | Portsmouth High School

David Beckham had a huge capacity to learn from failure…

Matthew Syed, author, journalist and one-time British number one table-tennis champion cites David Beckham as someone who has a huge capacity to learn from failure. Beckham claims that being sent off during the 1998 World Cup was one of the defining moments in learning from his mistakes. 

Carol Dweck’s book published in 2006 first introduced me to the “Growth Mindset” which enables students to get better at their chosen activity because they are willing to try, fail and analyse what went wrong to improve. I almost can’t believe that in education we have been promoting this approach for so long and yet we still have a long way to go before children believe that good quality practice does lead to progress.

Is anyone such a true genius that raw talent is enough? Children need to be encouraged to see their brain as a muscle that needs exercise to strengthen in a way that other muscles in their body need a regular work out too. David Beckham didn’t start out putting balls into the back of the net. He had to train hard and at times (in the most public of arenas) he got it wrong. He didn’t give up or more importantly blame anyone else. However, he did return to training more determined than ever to put in the required effort to enable him to score more goals.

We have had a period of mock examinations in school and these are an opportunity for girls to try out revision techniques and to learn from their errors. Pupils shouldn’t be frightened of getting it wrong. We all learn from making mistakes and children in class are no different.