Failure-driven Learning versus “Coloring Inside the Lines”

In my last post, I talked about the most common challenge to the theory of failure-driven learning. In this post, I want to address another frequent challenge, which I call he “coloring inside the lines” challenge.

The gist of this challenge is something like this: When there is a standard procedure for performing a task, the aim of training on that task should be to drill learners on that procedure. Exposing learners to what happens when the procedure is not followed properly is a waste of time.

Now, I think it’s safe to say that no one believes this when it comes to teaching complex, risky procedures. I’m pretty certain no one would be happy to find out that their pilot, their doctor, or even their plumber had only drilled on standard procedures and never experienced a scenario in which anything went wrong.

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