Data Explorations


The purpose of this observational survey was to address the ‘wickedness’ of our problem and to help us find solutions. Various members of our think tank sent out surveys to distinct personal networks that we had access to, to ensure that all our solutions to our problem address the perspectives of all stakeholders involved. You can find the links of the surveys below.

Populations of Interest

Korea Kent Foreign School, Seoul, South Korea

A private international school in the suburbs of Seoul, South Korea, serving grades K-12, with a student body of 298 students.

Grace Lutheran School, Illinois, USA

A private school serving grades K-8 with a student body of 214 students, located in the suburbs of Chicago.

Salk Elementary School, Michigan, USA

A public school located in Southeast Detroit serving grades K-6th with a student body of 509 students.

Michigan State University, Michigan USA

Training professionals and Instructional Designers that one of our think tank members has access to. Affiliated with Michigan State University.

Personal contacts

Friends and families of our think tank members that consisted of teachers and parents

Social Media

All members of our think tank tweeted a public blog post that included links to the survey with the hashtag #MAET (Masters in Educational Technology) and #CEP812 (Apply Educational Technology to Practice Course at MSU). This could have encouraged other educators, students and parents outside of our known populations to respond.

Limitations: Due to the nature of the survey being primarily voluntary response, we expected non-response from all of our populations of interest. Thus, we can only make conclusions based on the sample that responded. Furthermore, the survey was anonymous therefore we have no record indicating the originating population from which the respondent came from.


Student Data

  • Korea Kent Foreign School: Middle School and High School students were surveyed
  • Grace Lutheran: Students in grades K-8 were surveyed
  • Salk Elementary School : Students in grades K - 6 were surveyed

A larger proportion of students seemed to be in the lower end of the grade levels. Mostly in grades 4 - 8th grade.

Student View on Achievement

Majority of the students who participated in this study in grades K - 6th consider themselves to be at or above average in their academic achievements. No students ranked themselves as ‘failing’ While the majority of the students who participated in this study who are in high school and higher education are reporting above average G.P.A's with 85 % of them with C’s or above.

Comfort Level with Failure

Students were asked on a sliding scale to rank their level of comfort with Failure. 1 = Very Uncomfortable, 5 = Very Comfortable.

The proportion of students in the lower grade levels who are comfortable with failure are more than double the proportion of students in the upper grade levels who are comfortable with failure.

Both groups had the highest proportion of a neutral response (ranking of a 3) neither comfortable nor uncomfortable. It is clear that the students surveyed in this sample feel a little uncomfortable about failure, and it is more prevalent as age increases.

Making Corrections

Majority of students who participated in this study, regardless of age, are able to make corrections on their work for a better score, if not all the time, sometimes. This shows us that educators are genuinely giving opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes without explicitly knowing that they are enforcing the mindset of Failure as a Learning Mode. However, there is opportunity for improvement. A few responses implied that they are not able to make these corrections (less than 10% in both groups) or had no idea if they were able to do so.

Would You Make Corrections?

An overwhelmingly majority of the students (more than 80%) regardless of grade level would consider doing corrections to improve their grade if given the opportunity. This shows that students in this particular study are interested in learning from their mistakes to improve their grades.

Why Wouldn't You Make Corrections

Students in grades K - 6th (non middle school), were most against making corrections because of time constraints or fear of falling behind, where as students in the upper grades 6th - Higher Ed. felt that it was mostly fear of falling behind and also not clearly understanding the material. Below is a word cloud of their 'Other' Responses.

Learning From Failure

Majority of students (over 80%) no matter what their grade level, would like the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, however a noticeable amount of students in the younger grades are unsure and would most likely need to be informed out how to do this.


Educators/Administrators Data

  • Korea Kent Foreign School Teachers, Administrators, N = 30
  • Grace Lutheran : Teachers, Administrators, Specialists N = 25
  • Salk Elementary : Teachers, Administrators, Specialists, Paraprofessionals N = 36
  • Personal contacts : Teachers in one of our think tank member’s personal network N = Unknown

A large proportion of our responses are from teachers, and administrators, with a few in specialty roles.

About Our Sample

Educators across multiple grade levels and with varying levels of experience responded to our survey. This allows for a wide range of perspectives to be represented in the sample.

Comfort Level With Failure

Educators were asked on a sliding scale (1 = Very Uncomfortable, 5 = Very Comfortable) to rank their level of comfort with Failure in students, their personal lives and their professional lives.

Based on the educators who participated in this survey, they do not feel as comfortable with their personal and professional failures as they do when supporting students through their student failures. This implies that educators may need to adapt to a growth mindset in their personal and professional lives when it comes to failure in order to adopt learning as a failure mode in the school culture.

Why Educators Won't Adopt Failure As A Learning Mode

Overwhelmingly, most educators feel that time constraints and requirements/expectations/standards are holding them back from adopting failure as a learning mode in Education. Although there may be resources available to support them, there is not enough time to implement it while also adhering to generalized requirements of the school/district/standards etc .

Is Failure as A Learning Mode Working ? Do You Want More Information ?

Majority of the educators surveyed have seen Failure as a Learning Mode working in today's education system, however quite a few were unsure and a substantial amount did not want to receive any information about it.


Parent Data

  • Grace Lutheran School: Selected parents were chosen to participate N = Population total unknown
  • Personal contacts : Think Tank members’ friends and family N = Population total unknown

Large proportions of parents have students who are enrolled in grades K - Middle school, with a few respondents that have older students in high school and college.

Are Your children Allowed To Make Corrections?

An overwhelmingly 42 % of parent respondents are unsure if their child(ren) are allowed to make corrections to receive a better score. While the rest of the responses are fairly equal across the three choices.

Comfort Level with Failure

Parents were asked on a sliding scale (1 = Very Uncomfortable, 5 = Very Comfortable) to rank their level of comfort of their Child(ren)'s Failure , and in their personal lives .

Most parents are more comfortable with their child(ren) failing than failing in their personal lives. However in both cases, there seems to be a high level of comfort in general.

Why Failure As A Learning Mode Won't Work

Many parents who participated in this survey feel that there are time constraints and lack of student motivation that inhibit their child(ren) from being successful using failure as a learning mode. A substantial amount had unique responses to this question. Please see their quotes below.

Parent Quotes

Is Failure as A Learning Mode Working ? Do You Want More Information ?

Majority of the parents who participated in the survey have witnessed Failure as a Learning Mode working in the education system and are interested in learning more about it.