"Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn how to do it well."- Zig Ziglar
Wow! How counterintuitive in a pursuit of excellence world. But really, it begs the question, is your focus on the excellence or the pursuit?
If you are a learner rather than a knower, you are focused on the pursuit; you are willing to endure the steep part of the learning curve becuase you know that it comes with the territory, it comes with learning something challenging. And you're probably going to do it poorly until you learn how to do it well. Does that threaten your ego?
If you are a knower, it may. Being a knower may keep you off of the steep part of the learning curve because you don't want to embarrass yourself, or worry about being seen as incompetent. Since you are a knower, how could you not know?
So you don't try. Or you oppose change. Know anyone like that?
Now, here's the real question: what are the implications for school? In focusing on grades and class ranking, do we contribute to learning or do we contribute to fear? If you are aware that your work is going to be graded, are you willing to risk doing something creative and out of the box? Or would you do something that you already know how to do, something safe?
If we are not failing enough, we are not trying hard enough.