When I was interviewed for the Childhood Elsewhere documentary by journalist Zhou Yijun about education in Israel, I was filmed as my alter ego, Oshi the clown.
Failure is a buzzword in entrepreneurship and education today.
Zhou Yijun dedicated a whole series to Israeli education and looked at how different educational methods – from elementary school to university and beyond – interpret failure.
I had a small role in adding my thoughts on the subject.
It was thanks to a blog I had posted in May on the Joy of Failing, in which I wrote about my ideas on Israel’s culture of failure and the art of clowning and how they can come together.
A few days later the documentary team asked if I’d like to partake in their series on global education.
As in all interviews, we spoke about a range of things. I was edited down to a few minutes. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that two of my quotes – one on failure, the other on fun -- were turned into promos!
“The clown told the children that there was nothing wrong with making mistakes, that there was no problem with trying, and there was no problem with failure. There is happiness in everything,” reads a translated quote (not sure how good a translation it is) by Zhou Yijun in a marketing blurb for one of the promos.
Of course, no one wants to fail. No one wants their startup to collapse. And it sucks when you get a test back and see that you failed.
But it is crucial that kids know from go that if they do fail, school (and life) is not over. This is where learning must begin. Learn from your mistakes (adults need to know this, too). Use failure to discover.
And this notion -- failure -- is treated and accepted very differently in each culture.
So, although I was dressed as an educational clown in polka dots and had my hair in pigtails, my thoughts on failure resonated clearly: the attitude to and culture of failure in Israel is different than elsewhere in the world.
And that is one of the reasons Israel is what it is today. We’ll save that for another blog.
To read more about the documentary, please click here.