Learning to Fail or Failing to Learn    

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3 Responses

  1. scarlettbrown says:

    Loved this post George – the problems of discussing failure are immense, especially in academia. On one hand reminds me of the problems that they have in Science subjects where only positive results get published, making research inherently biased. No one wants to be published saying ‘I did this for 3 years and nothing happened’. Also reminded me of paper by Ros Gill (2009) called “Breaking the silence: The hidden injuries of neo-liberal academia” – a very depressing read for a future academic but really resonates with the not wanting to admit to failure or barriers to research. Hats off to your honesty and hey, at least it will make a section of your empirical chapter when you do finish!

  2. George Byrne says:

    Hey Scarlett, thanks for your comment. I will definitely read that Gill article. Yes, I completely agree with you about it being somewhat depressing for future academics! The idea of being part of a ‘neo-liberal academia’ is really quite scary. I also know a lot of people who are much further along in their academic careers who are really cynical of the whole ‘industry’. I hope things like this will mean that I go into it with my eyes somewhat open, rather than getting to the end of my career and then suddenly thinking everything I have done was a waste of time.

  3. Hannah says:

    I really enjoy your writing, and Scarlett, I will also read the Gill article as it sounds as though it may resonate, and there are no worries now of making me cynical as I got there a long time ago.
    However, while it may sound like a trope, I do believe that one can learn from these ‘failed’ experiences, and as long as you have the academic/peer/familial/financial support available it is definitely not a waste of time to continue.

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