28 mars 2012

"Self-esteem" (Critical Guide, E.D. Hirsch Jr)

   A term denoting a widely accepted psychological aim of education. There is consensus in the psychological literature that a positive sense of one's self is of great value to achievement, happiness, and civility to others, whereas a negative sense of one's self leads to low achievement, discontent, and social bitterness. 

   The critical question for school policy and teaching is how far on average self-esteem can be induced by positive reinforcement on the teacher's part. There is agreement that some degree of positive reinforcement is necessary, and that teachers should be kindly and encouraging to all students. 
   But there is growing agreement among psychologists that verbal and affective reinforcement is not sufficient, and can in fact be counterproductive if the child is not persuaded. There is strong evidence in the mainstream literature that praise in the absence of achievement does not raise achievement. The best enhancements of self-esteem, according to both psychological and process-outcome literature, arise from accurate and matter-of-fact appraisals of a student's work, as well as realistic encouragement toward effort and actual achievement.

Antipathy to subject-matter content  

"banking theory of schooling" 
"culturally-biased curriculum" 
"outcomes-based education" 
"research has shown"

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This was an excerpt from Hirsch's great book on education :
The Schools We Need 
 and Why We Don't Have Them.
Recension by Richard Askey :  

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