Bibliography of Failure Literatures
Rappolt-Schlictmann, G., Evans, M., Reich, C., & Cahill, C. (2017). Core emotion and engagement in informal science learning.
- Focus: emotion in museum exhibitions.
- Purpose: broaden understanding of the critical role of emotion as a mediator of engagement, and to learn how exhibit designers and developers can leverage emotion to enhance an exhibition’s value and impact for visitors
- Core emotion: a simple, raw expression of how a person feels in two dimensions.
- Exhibits could be explicitly designed to support emotional engagement states like “productive struggle”.
Bidjerano, T. (2010). Self-conscious emotions in response to perceived failure: A structural equation model. The Journal of Experimental Education, 78(3), 318-342.
This study explored the occurrence of self-conscious emotions in response to perceived academic failure among 4th-grade students from the United States and Bulgaria, and the author investigated potential contributors to such negative emotional experiences. Results from structural equation modeling indicated that regardless of country, negative affectivity—as an individual predisposition to experience highly negative emotions—predicted self-conscious emotions toward academic failure. However, culture appeared to condition the relative importance of some family process variables in children’s experiences of self-conscious emotions. Bulgarian children’s emotional experiences were amplified by the negative valence of their parents’ evaluative feedback in the aftermath of academic failure. In contrast, U.S. children’s perceptions of failure appeared to be less influenced by their parents’ judgments. The findings of the study are interpreted in the light of cultural differences.
Basak, R. (2012). Perfectionist attitudes of artistically talented students in the art classroom. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, 5010-5014.
This study focused particularly on perfectionism as artistic expressions and classroom behavior. Findings of this research supported the AMPS (Adaptive/Maladaptive Perfectionism Scale) categories, and a consistency found between adaptive-maladaptive categories of the AMPS and qualitative data. Student attitudes, and perfectionist expressions in their art works were consistent with previous findings.
Emerging perfectionist characteristics:
- Caring too much about others’ perceptions of himself or herself.
- Feeling jealousy, when someone does something better
- Excessive sensitivity to mistakes
- Seeing a completed project as not finished
- Avoiding group-tasks
- Focusing on details but not being able to see the whole
- Problems with time management and organization
- Mechanical rationality over expressiveness
- Excessive concern over results and not enjoying the art making process
- Non-flexible drawing characteristics
- Difficulty with starting and completing tasks
- Mood changes and expressing distress while working on tasks
- Preference towards a “cartoonish” reality and stereotypical expressions
- Specific compulsiveness on certain tasks
- Difficulty in rendering organic and imprecise forms
- Difficulty with concentration and staying on task in the art classroom
Buchanan, R. (1992). Wicked problems in design thinking. Design issues, 8(2), 5-21.
This paper first discussed some philosophy theories in defining design thinking. Then, it criticized some doctrine of placements in designing thinking. The important part of this paper is introducing The Wicked Problems Theory of Design.
- The wicked problems approach was formulated by Horst Rittel in the 1960s. Rittel sought an alternative to the linear, step-by-step model of the design process being explored by many designers and design theorists.
- Wicked problems are a "class of social system problems which are ill-formulated, where the information is confusing, where there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values, and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing." The wicked-problems approach suggests that there is a fundamental indeterminacy.
- Some examples:
(1) Wicked problems have no definitive formulation, but every formulation of a wicked problem corresponds to the formulation of a solution. (2) Wicked problems have no stopping rules. (3) Solutions to wicked problems cannot be true or false, only good or bad. (4) In solving wicked problems there is no exhaustive list of admissible operations. (5) For every wicked problem there is always more than one possible explanation, with explanations depending on the Weltanschauung of the designer.39 (6) Every wicked problem is a symptom of another, "higher level," problem." (7) No formulation and solution of a wicked problem has a definitive test. (8) Solving a wicked problem is a "one shot" operation, with no room for trial and error. 1 (9) Every wicked problem is unique. (10) The wicked problem solver has no right to be wrong-they are fully responsible for their actions.
Dewett, T. (2007). Linking intrinsic motivation, risk taking, and employee creativity in an R&D environment. R&d Management, 37(3), 197-208.
This study used survey data that collected from 165 research and development personnel and their supervisors, evidence is provided showing that intrinsic motivation mediates the relationship between certain antecedents and one’s willingness to take risks and that this willingness mediates the effect of intrinsic motivation on employee creativity.
Simpson, A., Maltese, A. V., Anderson, A., & Sung, E. (2020). Failures, Errors, and Mistakes: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Mistakes, Errors and Failures across Cultures, 347-362.
- First, this paper surveyed and compared the meaning of terms such as failure, mistakes, errors, obstacles, and struggles that have been utilized in research studies and commentaries published between 1970 and mid-2018.
- Then, it briefly highlighted how their research findings on failure within making and tinkering contexts contribute to the current thinking on failure, mistakes, and errors.
- The research included approximately 500 youth and150 educators situated in a variety of settings that implement making and tinkering programs and/or activities including an informal educational setting, a formal education setting, and a hybrid setting.
Ryoo, J. J., Bulalacao, N., Kekelis, L., McLeod, E., & Henriquez, B. (2015, September). Tinkering with “failure”: Equity, learning, and the iterative design process. In FabLearn 2015 Conference at Stanford University, September 2015.
- This paper attempts to reframe popular notions of “failure” as recently celebrated in the Maker Movement, Silicon Valley, and beyond. This paper explored what it means for afterschool youth and educators to persist through unexpected challenges when using an iterative design process in their tinkering projects.
- More specifically, this paper describes: 1) how young women in a program geared toward increasing equitable access to quality science, technology, and engineering education for girls underrepresented in the field (Techbridge) make sense of their tinkering experiences while persisting through challenges in the iterative design process, 2) which pedagogical moves both Techbridge girls and educators value when persisting through frustrations, 3) what iterative design learning looks like in the afterschool program, and 4) how supporting iterative design processes over end-products can redefine notions of STEM ability and intelligence by inviting diverse learners into activities they find meaningful.
Wang, J. (2013, June). Ingenuity lab: Making and engineering through design challenges at a science center. In 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition (pp. 23-752).
- This paper details the study of the Ingenuity Lab, an engineering maker space at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The space is open to drop-in visitors on weekends, serving mostly family groups with ages ranging from infant to elderly. The majority of children are between the ages of four and ten. A monthly open-ended engineering design challenge and theme is presented to visitors, along with materials consisting of low-cost consumables and/or reusable electronics. Visitors design, build, and test solutions to the challenges. In particular, this study aims to assess the program’s impact on its visitors with regards to visitors’ perceptions of engineering and identity with engineering, as well as visitors’ confidence in and agency to do engineering. Three challenges over three months were studied via visitor number and time tracking and post surveys.
- Design guidelines resulting from the findings are allowing for
- multiple paths and solutions;
- utilizing a variety of everyday accessible materials;
- offering challenges that are achievable within the timeframe;
- fostering multiple iterations of refinement;
- and supporting collaboration through varying levels of open-endedness
Kapur, M. (2010). Productive failure in mathematical problem solving. Instructional science, 38(6), 523-550.
- This paper reports on a quasi-experimental study comparing a “productive failure” instructional design with a traditional “lecture and practice” instructional design for a two-week curricular unit on rate and speed.
- Participants comprised 75, 7th-grade mathematics students from a mainstream secondary school in Singapore. Students experienced either a traditional lecture and practice teaching cycle or a productive failure cycle, where they solved complex, ill-structured problems in small groups without the provision of any support or scaffolds up until a consolidation lecture by their teacher during the last lesson for the unit.
- Findings suggest that students from the productive failure condition produced a diversity of linked problem representations but were unable to produce good quality solutions, be it in groups or individually. Expectedly, they reported low confidence in their solutions. Despite seemingly failing in their collective and individual problem-solving efforts, students from the productive failure condition significantly outperformed their counterparts from the lecture and practice condition on both well- and ill-structured problems on the post-tests. After the post-test, they also demonstrated significantly better performance in using structured-response scaffolds to solve problems on relative speed—a higher-level concept not even covered during instruction.
Del Frate, L. (2013). Failure of engineering artifacts: a life cycle approach. Science and engineering ethics, 19(3), 913-944.
- Failure is a central notion both in ethics of engineering and in engineering practice. Engineers devote considerable resources to assure their products will not fail and considerable progress has been made in the development of tools and methods for understanding and avoiding failure. Engineering ethics, on the other hand, is concerned with the moral and social aspects related to the causes and consequences of technological failures. But what is meant by failure, and what does it mean that a failure has occurred?
- The subject of this paper is how engineers use and define this notion. Although a traditional definition of failure can be identified that is shared by a large part of the engineering community, the literature shows that engineers are willing to consider as failures also events and circumstance that are at odds with this traditional definition. These cases violate one or more of three assumptions made by the traditional approach to failure. An alternative approach, inspired by the notion of product life cycle, is proposed which dispenses with these assumptions. Besides being able to address the traditional cases of failure, it can deal successfully with the problematic cases. The adoption of a life cycle perspective allows the introduction of a clearer notion of failure and allows a classification of failure phenomena that takes into account the roles of stakeholders involved in the various stages of a product life cycle.