Thursday, May 01, 2008

For an excellent post discussing "self-esteem and its misuse in education," see Shrinkwrapped here.

A snippet:

Self-esteem may well be the psychoanalytic concept most thoroughly perverted by the pop psychology movement since the 1960s. It has led to especially pernicious effects in pedagogy. Schools routinely refuse to rank students, demur from teaching actual math or spelling skills (versus allowing and encouraging students to find their own approach to math and spelling with the correct answer being less important than the effort), ban games of tag or dodgeball, and reduce competitive games to unscored exercises, all in the name of protecting the self-esteem of their young charges. This does a disservice to the students, who too often graduate from our schools without knowing that they don't know what they don't know. It encourages a populace to believe that facts are inconsequential and feelings trump reality since there is nothing more important than the students' feelings. This is highly corrosive.

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