I want to tell you a story about my daughter, my beautiful failure. Every day of her high school life was a struggle. She woke up in the morning and the thought of going to school was like an enormous mountain to climb. 'Nothing will ever be as easy as your school years,' well-meaning adults told her, but I knew for my daughter, and for many kids who have struggled as square pegs trying to make themselves round, this was dead wrong. When Lucy Clark's daughter graduated from school a 'failure', she started asking questions about the way we measure success. Why is there so much pressure on kids today? Where does it come from? Most importantly, as we seem to be in the grip of an epidemic of anxiety, how can we reduce that pressure? Beautiful Failures explores, through personal experience and journalistic investigation, a broken education system that fails too many kids and puts terrible pressure on all kids, including those who 'succeed'. It challenges accepted wisdoms about schooling, calls on parents to examine their own expectations, and questions the purpose of education, and indeed the purpose of childhood.
Lucy Clark is a journalist and editor with 31 years experience in newspapers and magazines in Sydney, London and New York. She was most recently the editor of the news and opinion website The Hoopla, and has worked as a literary editor, features writer, and opinion columnist. She is now a Senior Editor at Guardian Australia.