Working Title: Failing to learn: Knowing when to abandon prior knowledge to advance understanding in higher education.
That's a long title for book that I hope will invite a new way of looking at the way people learn when they transition into (and out of) higher levels of education. And the page will offer links and short cases of what happens when we see failure as necessary to--and perhaps generative of-- the process of understanding.
The goal of the book is two-fold:
1) to offer to a general academic audience examples of how 'teachers' and 'learners' (from a variety of contexts: for instance, the coach and the player or the parent and the child, the mentor and the intern) might re-conceive the place of "prior knowledge" as both opportunity and obstacle to higher-level understanding.
2) to provide pedagogical strategies--and teaching tips--for this general audience of 'teachers' aand 'learners' to use such moments of discontinuity and confusion (i.e. when we fail to learn something new because of what we already know) in order to build new higher-level understandings.
Here is a performance by Corey Schutzer of Tom Johnson's musical composition Failing--A Very Difficult Piece for Solo String Bass that offers one way of looking at what happens when we seek out failure:
I will draw from examples in the humanities, the sciences, teacher education, as well as out-of-school and everyday experiences with learning to explore the prospects of seeking out and courting what some have called "expectation failure" to develop better metacognitive and disciplinary understandings of our practices and fields.