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Self-Esteem boosting too much of a priority?

V.I. Lenin

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Dodgeball is banned in most schools, red pens aren't used because red supposedly causes negative reactions, therapy is more important and it seems like more and more parents blame teachers for children's depression and most vie for a constantly happy and never disapointed child. Is this going too far? In other words...are America's schools spending too much time trying to build self-esteem and a world without disappointment in a child's mind? IS low self-esteem the route of many of society's woes?
 

Arch Enemy

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As a student, I see that the biggest issue affecting low self-esteem for students, are the other students.
Instead of trying to encourage a student in school, one would rather dis that student or "put them down". You're nothing if your social standing in school is high, and if it isn't you start thinking poorly of yourself.. this is caused from the competitive and painful reactions from other students.
Not meaning this in a sexist way, but Women have a bigger problem with this low self-esteem thing, they usually keep their emotions inside until they do something dramatic. Men, usually, take their emotions and immediately unleash them on one another and once that has cleaned up.. there is no long a feud.

I believe that we do need to raise the self-esteem of our students, Self-Esteem leads to actions like suicide and school-shootings. Top priority? maybe not, but a high priority? of course.
 

V.I. Lenin

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Well you don't have to tell me how terrible high school kids can be. I remember my highschool days...I think I was the model for the steretypical nerd. Thin, glasses, weak, overly humble and overly nice, often picked on for my grades. This time shaped my personality and I think my political beliefs.

I know the importance of self esteem, and I know how evil students can be. But do you think this (dodgeball banning, red pen banning, etc.) is going to far? Is their a balance between schools with bullies everwhere and low self esteem and schools with smiles and hugs everywhere and disapointment completely erased from most students vocabulary?
 

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As a student, I see that the biggest issue affecting low self-esteem for students, are the other students.
Instead of trying to encourage a student in school, one would rather dis that student or "put them down". You're nothing if your social standing in school is high, and if it isn't you start thinking poorly of yourself.. this is caused from the competitive and painful reactions from other students.
Competitiveness is built into the human DNA. The problem ,as I see it, is academia is lowering the bar instead or raising it. Instead of trying to bring the students up to the same level, they are trying to forget there is a problem. See no evil, hear no evil. Children aren't so fragile, that the color red will traumatize them. Self esteem comes from within, not from your surroundings. The goal for the student should be not to get any red ink on the paper. Maybe the schools get sued too often when little Johnny gets his feeling hurt, and they don't want to deal with it.
 

Arch Enemy

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Squawker said:
Competitiveness is built into the human DNA. The problem ,as I see it, is academia is lowering the bar instead or raising it. Instead of trying to bring the students up to the same level, they are trying to forget there is a problem. See no evil, hear no evil. Children aren't so fragile, that the color red will traumatize them. Self esteem comes from within, not from your surroundings. The goal for the student should be not to get any red ink on the paper. Maybe the schools get sued too often when little Johnny gets his feeling hurt, and they don't want to deal with it.
Right, the source of Self Esteem is from within, but Self-Esteem is mainly affected by things of the surrounding. It's very hard to find a kid, who if picked on, could easily just "brush the dirt off his shoulders". Once a kid is bullied, they think about the reasons and after coming to agreement that these reasons are true, their self-esteem is mortally damaged.
Remember the story about the kid who befriended a nerd, while walking down the street, and later figured out that this kid was going to kill himself days later?
 

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I think too much self-esteem is the problem, if kids get treated with hugs and kisses and all that liberal bull, and get points for effort because they didn't want to do their assignment doesn't prepare them for the world at all. They think that just because they are getting spoon-fed throughout their highschool career that everybody else is going to do that when they get out of high school. NO! It doesn't work like that. And what's with banning dodgeball for god's sake? It's dodgeball! It's fun! Pansy ass liberals!
 

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I do believe that self-esteem is a huge problem in our schools as well in the working world. I do agree however that there is not enough being done to boost the eager learning habits of our kids today. It seems that we have focused so hard on holding our students hands instead of actually teaching them life skills which ultimately will build confindence and self-esteem. If we all could jump into a time capsole together and journey back in time to the point before standardized testing (a huge joke), we would clearly see the difference in education and self-esteem. They can be built together by actively encouraging our students to perform at their prime learning levels. I further believe that parents should focus on this problem as well. Parents play a unique role in a students life and their learning. It is the parents jobs to teach them to addapt to life and society, not to sue a school because the parent is too lazy to work with their own child.
 

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One aspect of self-esteem, or the lack thereof, works like this.

By the time a kid finishes the third grade, either he can read on grade level, or he can't.

If he can, he moves along with the most of the class. If he can't, he begins to fall behind.

From the fourth grade on, reliance on text books grows exponentially. If the books cannot be read, the student cannot learn. Concurrent with text books is greater reliance on written tests and examinations. The kid who cannot read is in trouble.

In many school districts, "social promotions" keep the kid moving along with his age group even though he is unable to do the class work. The kid understands that he is not the scholastic equal of his peers and becomes embarrassed. The only defense he sees is an offense which causes him to become a bully if he is big enough, or the class clown if he is not.

He tolerates school as best he can; living only for the arrival of his sixteenth birthday at which point he can drop out. He's thrilled. But the rush doesn't last long. He soon realizes that he is unfit for anything but jobs on the lowest rung of the ladder and hasn't much hope for improving his lot. Self-esteem? Less now than before.

How do we improve self-esteem among school kids? Recognize that reading is the backbone of education. In each of the first three grades, identify those who are in danger of slipping below grade level in reading. Immerse these kids in nothing but reading instruction until they are up to level. Monitor their reading progress until it is clear that they will not fall behind.

There are no self esteem problems on the first day of the first grade. If asked what they want to be when they grow up, how many would say, "I want to be a high school drop out and work for minimum wage."?

When they discover that they cannot read, self-esteem problems begin to arise.

Is there any way to validate this? I don't know. However, it is significant that the high school graduation rate across the US in 1998 averaged a mere 71%.

Three out of ten kids unable to make it through high school -- and this is after years of dumbing down the curricula.

Is there any reason to believe that things are improving even though, today, we are spending a national average of nearly ten thousand dollars, annually, for each kid in the public school system K-12.

There are plenty of interesting statistics to be found here:

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_baeo.htm
 

Arch Enemy

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Repub05 said:
I think too much self-esteem is the problem, if kids get treated with hugs and kisses and all that liberal bull, and get points for effort because they didn't want to do their assignment doesn't prepare them for the world at all. They think that just because they are getting spoon-fed throughout their highschool career that everybody else is going to do that when they get out of high school. NO! It doesn't work like that. And what's with banning dodgeball for god's sake? It's dodgeball! It's fun! Pansy ass liberals!
You're a nice person.
 

RightinNYC

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Repub05 said:
I think too much self-esteem is the problem, if kids get treated with hugs and kisses and all that liberal bull, and get points for effort because they didn't want to do their assignment doesn't prepare them for the world at all. They think that just because they are getting spoon-fed throughout their highschool career that everybody else is going to do that when they get out of high school. NO! It doesn't work like that. And what's with banning dodgeball for god's sake? It's dodgeball! It's fun! Pansy ass liberals!
http://www.nyunews.com/features/campuslife/9577.html

At NYU we had a College Repubs - College Dems Dodgeball tournament.

It was quite a good time. My team won the first tournament.

=)
 

Arch Enemy

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Nice!

That'd be fun, but what about the 3rd Party's? or is just like major elections, they're not allowed to run :p
 

RightinNYC

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Arch Enemy said:
Nice!

That'd be fun, but what about the 3rd Party's? or is just like major elections, they're not allowed to run :p
Wasnt enough to make a team.
 

Mr. D

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V.I. Lenin said:
Dodgeball is banned in most schools, red pens aren't used because red supposedly causes negative reactions, therapy is more important and it seems like more and more parents blame teachers for children's depression and most vie for a constantly happy and never disapointed child. Is this going too far? In other words...are America's schools spending too much time trying to build self-esteem and a world without disappointment in a child's mind? IS low self-esteem the route of many of society's woes?

Dodgeball has to be supervised so it's fun, not an method to bully weaker kids and express anger! Red pens don't hurt kids, it's negative criticism that does! When a person tries to paint a picture you don't say, "This is "F' work!" You point out what is good and show with encouragement how to make it better! It ain't the color of the pen that does the damage! You can call them Blue Birds, but they still know they are in the slow reading group! Take away self esteem and kids quit on themselves!

No one can have enough self esteem, but don't confuse building self esteem with sheltering children from the real world or positive criticism! Self esteem is seeing the real worth and value in yourself rather than buying into other people's poor values! Having self esteem doesn't mean you don't see yourself clearly, it means you do! You like yourself with all your human flaws, but accept your need to improve! As a teacher I often told kids how great I thought they were as I was taking them to the office to be suspended! Why? Because they were great kids who needed to hear that as they were being required to be responsible for their actions! Discipline doesn't require hurting a person's self esteem, it simply requires that they be responsible for their actions!
 
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Stace

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Making sure that kids feel good about themselves is a HUGE priority in schools these days. As a matter of fact, I'm reading a book right now that was written about my high school (Another Planet by Elinor Burkett; she spent the 1999-2000 school year observing us and crap...I'm mad because she used my full name without my permission...*ahem* anyway....)

Another Planet said:
In one of dozens of waves of idealistic fervor that promised to loft American education to new heights, consultants swept into school districts to instruct teachers in how to eradicate guilt, shame, and disappointment from their teaching methods and to replace such allegedly negative reinforcement with positive strokes. If a child fails a test, reassure him that he's not a failure, they preached. After all, you aren't what you do. Don't humiliate a student who doesn't do his homework. Ask him what he was doing instead, encourage him. Elementary school children were drilled in songs like "Hey, look me over, I'm proud to be me, my perception of myself is strong as it can be!"

Prior Lake had woven those same self-esteem techniques into its curriculum just before the Class of 2000 Synergy students began grade school. The motto of Westwood Elementary School, where most had begun their formal education, was "Everybody's Thumbody," displayed in all classrooms with smiling cartoon representations of the opposable digit. At Hidden Oaks Middle School, they learned self-esteem in a class called PFLS, Personal and Family Life Sciences, following a workbook designed to help kids "strengthen your self-confidence, manage your emotions, and communicate better with friends and family."

That workbook led them through exercises to turn them into "Dionaraps", the opposite of paranoids, people who think the world is out to do them good. They took peer-pressure surveys, drew up lists of their strengths and their weaknesses and were instructed in building the "three-legged stool of self-confidence," balanced on self-perception and the perceptions of others. The text was laden with quotations like, "There are no strangers here - only friends we haven't met," and "With confidence, you have won even before you have started."

While the coddling made many students feel good about themselves, it provided them with none of the academic benefit promised by proponents of self-esteem training. In fact, feeling good about themselves led kids to achieve less, not more, researchers report. Why work hard and strve to improve if you are praised no matter what you do?
Sorry that was so long, but since it's from a book, I couldn't exactly link to it.

Teaching kids self-esteem in moderation is ok, but I think that that should be the job of the parents, not the teachers. Once those kids hit high school, at least from what I've seen, they learn to use it to their own advantage...I've seen many a kid get a higher grade on something because they "tried" and wheedled with the teacher until the teacher felt guilty for giving the grade they actually deserved. Using those tactics isn't teaching the child anything they SHOULD be learning in school.
 

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Self-esteem should be a priority, but it should not be taught in the sense of banning dodgeball, cops and robbers, red pens, and things like it. It should be taught by encouraging every child to explore more and having fewer academic requirements that cause restrictions on the creative mind. They should raise children's spirits by telling them they can do anything. It should all be about moving forward, not back.
 

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Stace said:
I've seen many a kid get a higher grade on something because they "tried" and wheedled with the teacher until the teacher felt guilty for giving the grade they actually deserved. Using those tactics isn't teaching the child anything they SHOULD be learning in school.
I dunno, from my experience, that's a pretty good real life skill to be practicing.

Probably pay off more in the real world for most people than calculus...
 

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RightatNYU said:
I dunno, from my experience, that's a pretty good real life skill to be practicing.

Probably pay off more in the real world for most people than calculus...
You should become a politician! The end justifies the means! Who needs character, just getting over on people is what's important! I don't think you mean that!

I always allowed kids to question grades, and at times I changed them! Why, because the purpose of a grade is to improve the student's learning more than make some supreme judgement! An excellent technique in workshop teaching is to tell the student what the grade is at present, and then allow them an opportunity to prove the knowledge necessary for the grade they want! "This is C work, and this is what you need to do to make it an A! Do you want to rework it and make it an A?" It takes the fear of failure out of learning!
:2wave:
 

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V.I. Lenin said:
Dodgeball is banned in most schools, red pens aren't used because red supposedly causes negative reactions, therapy is more important and it seems like more and more parents blame teachers for children's depression and most vie for a constantly happy and never disapointed child. Is this going too far? In other words...are America's schools spending too much time trying to build self-esteem and a world without disappointment in a child's mind? IS low self-esteem the route of many of society's woes?
When I was in school I always had red ink on my papers. I graduated college with a very technical degree in computer science, but in all honesty, I was not the best student. But I was too stubborn to quit and just kept plugging away. It took me 8 years to get a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, but by god, I did it. But red ink was never a problem for my teachers. It was as if they enjoyed putting red ink. Heck, they would even make fun of the class when we as a majority failed. One of my profs who was from Taiwan would say after handing out failing papers, "You know, it just isn't your day is it?" and he would say it with a smile in a saracastic humerous way. Of course, the humor was at our expense. But red ink never kept me down.
 

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Mr. D said:
Dodgeball has to be supervised so it's fun, not an method to bully weaker kids and express anger! Red pens don't hurt kids, it's negative criticism that does! When a person tries to paint a picture you don't say, "This is "F' work!" You point out what is good and show with encouragement how to make it better! It ain't the color of the pen that does the damage! You can call them Blue Birds, but they still know they are in the slow reading group! Take away self esteem and kids quit on themselves!

No one can have enough self esteem, but don't confuse building self esteem with sheltering children from the real world or positive criticism! Self esteem is seeing the real worth and value in yourself rather than buying into other people's poor values! Having self esteem doesn't mean you don't see yourself clearly, it means you do! You like yourself with all your human flaws, but accept your need to improve! As a teacher I often told kids how great I thought they were as I was taking them to the office to be suspended! Why? Because they were great kids who needed to hear that as they were being required to be responsible for their actions! Discipline doesn't require hurting a person's self esteem, it simply requires that they be responsible for their actions!


real world? Harsh, brutish, and really not fair.


What do they teach in public schools? Its not going to prepare you for the fact that people will screw you over in the real world.
 

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128shot said:
real world? Harsh, brutish, and really not fair.


What do they teach in public schools? Its not going to prepare you for the fact that people will screw you over in the real world.
I have to agree. Real world is a shitty place. Life isn't fair and get used to it. As Noam Chomsky says: "Education is a system of imposed ignorance." But really, I thought my professors made us work for our grades and challenged us. They were more than happy to give somebody an F.
 

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TimmyBoy said:
I have to agree. Real world is a shitty place. Life isn't fair and get used to it. As Noam Chomsky says: "Education is a system of imposed ignorance." But really, I thought my professors made us work for our grades and challenged us. They were more than happy to give somebody an F.


Heh, the only thing stopping most people from commiting suicide in the real world has to be their parents support in the early years of living away. I just don't see otherwise how they'd get along.
 

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128shot said:
Heh, the only thing stopping most people from commiting suicide in the real world has to be their parents support in the early years of living away. I just don't see otherwise how they'd get along.
I dunno, its more fun to do it without parental support, if you're talking financial. The ages of 20-28 are probably the best years of your life, i dont know why anyone would want to miss them.
 

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I hate to be so wishy washy (all you conservatices out there, "Well, you are a liberal... Hug a tree while your at it") but each student should experience levels of citicisms according to their distorted sense of self importance. The self confidence of most students should be torn down completely, until those arrogant berks can get it through their thick skulls that there are billions of other people in the world, and your life isn't more significant than anyones else's. In fact, during oyur life time you won't make a difference in the world at all, and most people are indeed useless, it may appear I'm being cynical, but I believe it is an honest assumption.
 

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liberal1 said:
I hate to be so wishy washy (all you conservatices out there, "Well, you are a liberal... Hug a tree while your at it") but each student should experience levels of citicisms according to their distorted sense of self importance. The self confidence of most students should be torn down completely, until those arrogant berks can get it through their thick skulls that there are billions of other people in the world, and your life isn't more significant than anyones else's. In fact, during oyur life time you won't make a difference in the world at all, and most people are indeed useless, it may appear I'm being cynical, but I believe it is an honest assumption.
Perhaps if you had less self importance, then you might judge the rest of humanity with with less arrogance yourself.

What gives you the right to label students as thick, arrogant and (most of them) useless? I'm not out to change the world nor do I expect my students to change the world, but I want them to belive that they don't have to be stuck with dead end jobs. but they can make something of their lives.

There are many students who do nt have self confidence. They do not have a belief in themselves. They think they are thick, and will end up on the rubbish heap of life.

They have parents like you who tell them they will make nothing of their lives; who tell them they are insignificant. It is people like you who tear down their confidence and it is left to teacher to attempt to build it up again.

You have chosen the easy option in life: criticise and tear down.
 

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A few of you somewhere had experiences that led you to believe that discipline has to be punishment and brutish. Wrong! How about just having kids face the natural consequences of their actions! Act like a spoiled brat and people don't want to meet your needs! Positive behavior gets cooperation, negative behavior does not get cooperation. What a concept!

The biggest idiotic, mythical concept shoved down people's throat today is "unconditional love"! People have a responsiblity to try to be loveable to the best of their ability considering their maturity and understanding. A parent may love the CONCEPT/MEMORY/DREAM of "who a child was earlier in life, or "who the parent wishes they had become", but no one can really love a child whose actions have made them detestable. Many times what people are actually experiencing as love is the pain and mourning of the death of hope for who they wanted that person to be! We confuse people when we teach the message we are entitled to be loved "unconditionally" no matter how revolting and damaging our behavior is. It's a popular feel good concept that makes no sense and confuses people!
 
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