We must teach children to fail, says Prince Andrew

Mar 30, 2014

Royal says failure is a vital life lesson

Children should be taught to fail, says Prince Andrew. The Queen’s second son, who has suffered several setbacks in life, argues that it is a vital lesson for life.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Prince Andrew says the thing he “learnt most” during his childhood years at the Scottish boarding school Gordonstoun, was that “failure was not something to be afraid of or something to feel guilty about, because so much of life is about understanding failure and the lessons to be learnt from failure”.

The prince says he wants pupils to be given tasks at school at which they are set up to fail. “Failure allows you to succeed in the future because we are an experience-based learning organism. All animals are,” he says. “Give someone the experience and they will learn.”

He says the “desire for everyone to succeed” is “entirely right and proper”. However, he adds: “There must be a learning process to success and part of that must be being challenged in some way so that the logical outcome will be failure, so that you can learn from that failure.”

Tomorrow at Buckingham Palace, the prince will announce a scheme to encourage up to a million children to acquire the online skills to set up businesses. The scheme, which is modeled on his father’s Duke of Edinburgh awards, will offer badges for entrepreneurial and digital skills and award prizes of up to £20,000.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Disqus - noscript

We must teach children to fail, says Prince Andrew. In concept is the Prince correct but to teach children to fail is wrong. Failure is part of success, exams where the dumbest may ask what the smartest man what he doesn’t know is part of success and failure. This mentality is obvious even at the basic level of primate life in the televisions cook shows where success and failure is dependent on the taste and digestion of the observer.

I'm not convinced that pupils should "be given tasks at school at which they are set up to fail". Surely this just teaches them that they are being set up to fail, which in turn lets them disassociate from the failure. They should be given the opportunity to succeed at everything but faced with real challenges in order to learn the tools to process and improve from their failures.

Who actually cares what His Royal Highness has to say? He has achieved nothing in his life apart from learning how to get handouts from the taxpayer. A freeloader of no consequence.