Summary of Productive Failure

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7 Overall

9 Applicability

6 Innovation

5 Style


Conventional wisdom paints failure as something to avoid. However, learning scientist Manu Kapur argues that the right kind of failure is useful, even critical, to learning. Kapur’s perspectives will pique the interest of anyone who is responsible for designing rich educational experiences or who is keen to learn new pedagogical techniques.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What principles govern learning,
  • What role “productive failure” plays in learning and
  • How to improve the learning experience.

About the Speaker

Manu Kaper is a professor of learning sciences and higher education at ETH Zurich.



How do people learn and apply newfound knowledge to solve novel problems? Learning scientist Manu Kapur believes four principles should guide thinking about learning:

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