‘My Favorite Failure’ with Laura McBain & Ron BeGhetto - Stanford d.school Spotlight


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The first feature of the Stanford d.school spotlight has Laura McBain and Dr Ronald Beghetto, authors of My Favorite Failure. They share ideas about consciously engineering learning and experience with uncertainty and surprise as an ingredient.

Perhaps we are too rigorously over-engineering education and human experience to the point of unnatural predictability? Ronald and Laura discuss how they believe there can be good in risks and unplanned experiences, and how we might form healthy and beneficial relationships with failure as a way to build resilience and better inform pedagogy and practice.

Hosted by The Learning Future’s very own Louka Parry, indulge your cortex in some modern thinking at the forefront of educational design with our two amazing guests:

Laura McBain (@laura_mcbain) is a designer, educator and serves as co-managing director of the Stanford d.school and the co-director of the K12 Lab. Her work focuses on how human-centered design can be used to provide equitable and innovative educational experiences that will help all students thrive in a changing world. In this role she leads design challenges in education, designs new learning experiences for educators and serves as an adjunct professor at Stanford University. She is the author of My Favorite Failure: How Setbacks Can Lead to Learning and Growth which provides insights and narratives into how you can create the conditions to take risks and experience failure together. Prior to the d.school, Laura worked for 15 years at High Tech High serving as the Director of External Relations, principal of two school sites and a founding teacher. She has taught middle and high school students in both charter comprehensive schools. Laura has a Bachelors from Miami University-Oxford, Ohio and a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr Beghetto is an internationally recognized expert on creative thought and action in educational settings. He holds the Pinnacle West Presidential Chair and serves as a Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.

Dr. Beghetto is the Editor for the Journal of Creative Behavior, Editor for Review of Research in Education, Series Editor for Creative Theory and Action in Education (Springer Books), and has served as a creativity advisor for LEGO Foundation and the Cartoon Network.

He is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts (Div. 10, APA), and the International Society for the Study of Creativity and Innovation (ISSCI). He is the 2018 recipient of the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts and 2008 recipient of Daniel E. Berlyne Award from Div. 10 of the American Psychological Association.

Dr Beghetto has received recognition and numerous awards for excellence in teaching, including the University of Oregon 's highest teaching award for early career faculty (2006 Ersted Crystal Apple Award), the 2015 ALD Faculty of the Year Award at the University of Connecticut, and the Provost's Recognition for Excellence in Teaching (University of Connecticut).

His prior appointments include Professor of Educational Psychology, Director of UCONN's Innovation House, and Graduate Program Coordinator for the Cognition, Instruction, Learning, & Technology Program in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. He also previously served as the College of Education's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Education Studies at the University of Oregon, and Faculty-in-Residence for Research and Evaluation Projects for UO's Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC).

Dr Beghetto earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Indiana University (with an emphasis in Learning, Cognition and Instruction).

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