I wholeheartedly disagree about failure, but I see where you are coming from.
Failure is absolutely how we learn in life. This isn’t subjective.
“Failure” in the educational system is a different animal. We assign grades and hand out public declarations of incompetence that discourage kids to take the kinds of risks that they would actually learn from — the ones that allow their brains to grow and process information and think outside of the box.
Instead, we stifle creativity and pigeonhole them. We show them exactly what they need to do to get the A instead of allowing their brains to do the work they crave. We threaten and cajole them into “performing” and they must get it right the first time, every time or suffer the consequences (no diploma, no scholarship, no college admission, disappointed parents, etc…)
And why do we do it? So that we can have a metric to allocate limited resources and convince ourselves that the state of our educational system is not irreversibly broken. (It is.)
I agree that saying to kids, “You’re dumb and bad” by assigning an F is far from being an effective motivator. but make no mistake that it’s the weaponization of failure at the institutional level that demoralizies students, not the failure itself.
We’ve lost sight that the point of education is to impart knowledge. We’ve turned in into a pony show.