Someone needs to tell her that she really doesn't need to try so hard. Although maybe it is time she figure out the difference between correlation and causation.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was the self-esteem campaign with a task force and everything. (You can read the full report here.) Even though all the other states like to make fun of California and New York (she being so pretty and he being so cool and rebellious), as they go, so goeth the nation. The promotion of self-esteem in children snowballed into almost a religion. Praise became as constant and unrelenting as it was--I'm sure--meaningless to the intended beneficiaries.
As with any method of symptom-mowing, that didn't quite work out as anticipated:
The long-term impact of this rah-rah mentality is already apparent. In 2004, according to Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me, 70 percent of American college freshmen reported their academic ability as “above average.” But, once ego-inflated students get to college, they’re more likely to drop out, says Twenge, when their skewed sense of self and overconfidence affects their ability to make decisions.Because they got it backwards. Although self-esteem and high student achievement may be correlated, the cause-and-effect sequence is more likely to be that high student achievement promotes self-esteem, rather than the reverse. *Oops. Dang. How much did we spend on that report again?*
(Oddly enough, in a
I would like to point out that it's antithetical to serious intellectual inquiry to hijack such a discussion by misrepresenting the "basic premise" in order to promote a political and social agenda:
The basic premise is that racism and discrimination cause minorities to feel bad about themselves, and that this low self-image translates into women avoiding "hard" fields like engineering and blacks and Hispanics doing poorly in school.Well, no, not exactly. The basic premise is that people--and let's leave race and gender out of it, shall we, because neither has much to do with the main point--who feel bad about themselves for whatever reason, tend to self-destruct--and take others with them--which can only have negative effects on not just society, but the economy, so how might it be possible to
Similarly, the motivation driving the California Department of Education (and those of Michigan and Oklahoma and others) to dissect creativity in order to figure out how it works and thus build it into school curriculum has to do with
The world community recognizes that progress in the arts, in the professions, and in science and technology relies exquisitely on the creativity of people in these professions.This came from Carl A. Leopold (Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York), who went on to suggest
. . . the art of scientific thinking be taught by allowing students to experience all the thrills--and missteps--of an actual science program or research.Which indicates that independent exploration and direct experience and willingness to fail are essential to creativity. It's an orientation from which to teach, rather than a framework for a curriculum.
Once creativity is allowed in, students may gain mastery, thus building self-esteem without anyone heaping on piles of praise--praise that the students are surely smart enough to recognize as false. Everything is everything.