Book Preview: Positive Failure – Failing is Learning

Book Preview


1. What is the process for separating a mixture of chalk and sand?
It is a process called flirtation.
This book attempts to conceptualise failure. Such an important aspect of human development deserves to be understood fully, whatever occupation or facet of life we occupy. In the book, the author presents a new theory of failure and explore why it is such a tricky subject. It has turned out that the roots of failure seem to lie in our schooldays; ‘How to’ has been done. We all know how to diet, how to get that perfect stomach and how to relax. We don’t need ‘how to’. What has not been covered is when ‘how to’ fails. The stuff that gets in the way, the obstacles and defeat that is inevitable in our own personal journeys, the relentless perfectionism we strive to achieve and the taboo of being seen as weak.

This book goes above-and-beyond previously published works on failure. Although in the abstract we all know that we learn from our mistakes, how many of us actually do? This book forges a new conceptualisation for positive psychology that is interconnected with education and pedagogy. It fills a very real void.

How relevant to people’s real lives has school actually been? Over 50% of children leave school branded as failures in the UK, having not obtained the required amount of qualifications. The author takes the reader on a journey through the evolution of human intelligence and questions why we are still using tools that are over 100 years old in Education? If we were doing this in medicine would we be considered crude? Plato, Socrates and Aristotle all saw failure as positive. Even Einstein wasn’t Einstein before he put in years of effort, work and passion.

The book facilitates a critical inspection of self–deception, self-justification, narcissism and materialism in our modern world. The author unearths the mechanics that are at work in our society and how they are corroding our children’s abilities, confidence and helping make failure seem malignant. The author scientifically dismantles the old views of intelligence, stereotypes and fixed mindsets, then using concrete evidence to form a new way of looking at human evolution and how failure itself can be positive.

Positive Failure includes an original and brand new theory of failure. As opposed to a self-help book, or a detailed look at others successes, positive failure defines a new, revolutionary way of looking at failure which can be applied to one’s own life and the lives of thousands of learners.

Author’s Bio

Alastair currently teaches at St Edmund Campion Secondary School in Birmingham and has a background working with teenagers, teaching in Inner city Birmingham and London.  Alastair is also the author of: ‘Positive Failure – Failing is Learning’. Most recently, he was featured on BBC Radio with Adrian Goldberg and interviewed about SEAL. In addition to BA (Hons) in Drama, Alastair is a recent graduate in MSc Applied Positive Psychology at the University Of East London and a RESULTS qualified coach. Some of his work on failure is published (Wiley & Blackwell) and he was a contributor to the book: ‘Positive Psychology at Work: How Positive Leadership and Appreciative Inquiry Create Inspiring Organisations’

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