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Scapegoats vs. Learning from Mistakes

November 18, 2013

Scapegoat

I read a blog post by Dan Mulhern this morning about society’s need for scapegoats and sacrificial lambs.  The premise is that when things don’t go well – heads should roll… that people need to be “held accountable” in ways that mean leaving the assignment, project or the organization.  Is this healthy for us as a community of learners?

We (at least in Saline Area Schools) often talk about the need to learn from mistakes and to not be afraid of failure.  We understand that to be an organization that innovates, we need to take risks and be okay with it when it doesn’t always work out.   Whether you are an adult or  a student – we can all benefit from focusing on the learning that comes with not being afraid to make a mistake.

Do we need high levels of accountability?  Absolutely!  But… that doesn’t mean that we focus on the person related to the issue, it means we focus on learning from the mistake and improving.

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