My initial thoughts about failure is one of disdain, as it implies a certain sense of underachievement on the part of the person. But I guess a paradigm shift of sorts is needed when one looks at failure now. In fact:
FAILURE IS AN OPTION TO ACHIEVE GREATER SUCCESS
Lest the statement above sounds very much like a financial info-mercial that is so pervasive in the media nowadays, rest assured that it is not. Reading numerous articles on other people's life successes have somehow given me an insight that failures are actually necessary prerequisites for one to achieve an even greater degree of successes. Much like the proverbial woman being behind every man's success, I think that failures are the very thing that would give ANY success that much sweetness to taste.
In design education itself, I have embraced the philosophy that the first designs that comes out from my young charges are usually NOT the final design that they are going to be embarking on. Through constant and consistent one-to-one consultations that I have with them, it usually gives me a great amount of joy and satisfaction to see their design maturity developing and growing, to the point that they are able to see things from a practical and realistic point-of-view, definitely the kind of skills that I would want them to be equipped with before they leave their high school education. But at the same time, it is rather disheartening too to see that there is still this misconception amongst them that sees me as the 'Ideas bank', rather than a tool for them to facilitate in their design journeys and thinking skills. In fact, it is sad when they stopped thinking altogether and expect me to be providing them with the answers, when in actuality, design in itself is abundant with alternative solutions and possibilities for most given situations. Perhaps, what we would need is to relook at the way that some things or areas of study are being approached, so that this 'singular-answer mental model' can be de-established and perhaps put in place areas of study that in itself would be subjected to answers that are marked more by their Logicness, Realism and Depth of Reasoning and Thinkability, rather than Correctness alone!