The fear of failure

Animals never cease to amaze us, not only do we keep finding more and more similarities between them and us – elephants mourn their dead, for example, and can also be very good artists as the video below shows – we also keep finding more and more ways to help each other.

In that respect, a report emerged in the Guardian that a dog is now being used to help children read aloud in a primary school in Staffordshire, with surprising results.

Yes, it appears that man’s best friend also has a further utility as a non-judgmental educational tool. The key to the successes is explained by the dog’s owner Tony Nevett, who says of the dog, Danny: “He doesn’t judge them and he doesn’t laugh at them. He’s just a tool – the children don’t realise they are reading, which they might not have the confidence to do in class”.

Man's best friend now has a new use

The results have been encouraging according to the article, the most striking of which is the case of “a girl with Down’s Syndrome who really took to the dog and improved her reading”. Now, whilst this may not be a cure-all for our educational woes, we fully endorse this at Bold Creative because it reflects the values we broadly attempt to promote: an attempt to inspire confidence in children – whose incredible creativity and intelligence we have written about before – rather than handing them a drawer full of facts to memorise.

As well as this, the project shows a desire to experiment. Perhaps one of features of The King’s Speech that so appealed to audiences was its acute understand that it’s the fear of failure which stifles innovation and progress in any area. Particularly our educational system which, as Sir Ken Robinson noted a few years ago at a TED conference “kills creativity”.

Perhaps The King’s Speech was tapping into something deeper? Hopefully, with deep and pervasive cuts looming over the horizon, more schools around the country will pick up on this strategy in addition to coming up with some of their own innovations rather than succumb and stagnate.


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