Ep. 42 - Failing Up - Dr. Barbara Hong’s tips on escaping inevitable failure

We often teach children to avoid mistakes and even shame them when they do make mistakes. What we're missing out is the opportunity to help them nurture the qualities of persistence, courage, humility, kindness, stamina, self-control, resistance, and so forth. 

Barbara Hong explains why education should not be about avoiding failures. The purpose of learning, as paradoxical as it may sound, is to learn from these errors. Schooling is not merely to gain knowledge, but to develop resilience in overcoming missteps, criticisms, and oppositions. The more we learn to face our blunders, the better we will find out who we are and what we are made of. 

Successful people have three commonalities—they failed a lot, are self-aware, and stay consistent. As Leonard Cohen reminded us, “There must be a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”

Dr. Hong obtained her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Special Education in addition to three master’s degrees in Instructional Practices, Policy & Administration, and as a Learning Specialist. She was a three-time recipient of the prestigious Senior Fulbright Scholar, Senior Fulbright Specialist, Fulbright Hays awards, and the First Honorable Visiting Scholar to Taiwan Municipal University of Education.

Dr. Hong has been a professor for more than sixteen years and has taught in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Hawaii. She is also a licensed special educator, school principal, and district administrator.

In 2014, Dr. Hong was appointed by the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International and Information Programs, as a Speaker Specialist and Expert on Disability where she consults with governmental agencies around the world.

Her research examines the cognitive science of teaching and learning and the development of self-determination through the ethics of caring. Thus far, her research has been cited in the Handbook of Adult Learning, Wiley Library of Higher Education, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Recommended Readings, British Library, and the Hong Kong Institute of Education Library.

Dr. Hong is the recipient of the Teacher of Honor award by the international education honor society and the University Exemplary Faculty Award at her current institution.

She is on the Advisory Council for the Oxford Education Research Symposium, Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children, Past-President of BYU-Hawaii Honor Society, and Founder and Director of PACE™—Parents As Advocates for Change in Education.

Previously, Dr. Hong worked as the Education Specialist for the Virginia Fairfax County Government, Department of Family Services, and Institute for Early Learning. Currently, she is a Professor and Program Coordinator of Special Education at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

Check out her website.

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Get her book via Amazon and Goodreads.