Apr 29, 2011
Students Need to Learn Effective Failure
Arizona State University theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss. Along with other researchers, university presidents, and reporters, Krauss discussed science and tech policy recently at the Penn Club in New York City. He talked about how he had developed a program “in physics entrepreneurship. Which the business school dean at the time said was an oxymoron. But I don’t think so. The point is that what we do throughout our whole education system is give students solvable problems. In fact they’re guaranteed to be solvable, from problem sets in first-year physics to, in fact, a PhD.
“In the real world, most problems are not solvable exactly, and there are many competing demands. And you have to often change course in the middle in order to meet sociological issues as opposed to technological ones. And it’s very difficult for us to implement that in our teaching. But I think we do a much better job and a much better service to our students if we try and teach our students to fail more effectively.”