Begley, S. (2003). Programs to raise self-esteem fall woefully short.
The Wall Street Journal, Friday, April 18.
“They found that self-esteem in 10th grade is only weakly predictive of academic achievement in 12th grade. Academic achievement in 10th grade correlates with self-esteem in 12th grade only trivially better. Such results, which are now available from multiple studies, certainly do not indicate that raising self-esteem offers students much benefit. Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent performance”.
Baumeister, R.F., Campbell, J.D., Krueger, J.I., & Vohs, K.D. (2004, Dec 20). Exploding the self-esteem myth. Scientific American, 292(1), 70-77.
"As commendable as it is for children to have high self-esteem, many of the practices advocated in pursuit of this goal may instead inadvertently develop narcissism in the form of excessive preoccupation with oneself."
Katz, L.G. (1995). All about me: Are we developing our children's self-esteem or their narcissism? in Kathleen Cauley, F. Linder, & J.
McMillan, (Eds), Educational Psychology 94/95 Guildford,. CT.
"Violence appears to be most commonly a result of threatened egotism -- that is, highly favorable views of self that are disputed by some person or circumstance. ... violence is perpetrated by a small subset of people with favorable views of themselves. ... Viewed in this light, the societal pursuit of high self-esteem for everyone may literally end up doing considerable harm."
Baumeister, R. F., Smart, L. & Boden, J. M. (1996). The relation of threatened egotism to violence and
aggression: The dark side of high self-esteem. Psychological Review, 103, 5-33.
“Only 200 out of around 15,000 studies used objective measures, all but emptying the pool of reliable data on self-esteem. The remaining puddle, Baumeister argues, just doesn’t provide proof that self-esteem can steer an unswerving course towards sorry to say my recommendation is this: Forget about self-esteem and concentrate more on self-control and self-discipline” (Baumeister, 2005).
Ahuja, A. (2005, May 17). Forget self-esteem and learn some humility.
The Sunday Times.
“ … early reading achievement affects later academic self-concept directly in addition to its indirect influence through earlier academic self-concept. … cognitive programs are typically more effective than affective interventions in producing change in the students' views of their own academic abilities (Hattie, 1992).
Pisecco, S., Wristers, K., Swank, P., Silva, P.A., & Baker, D.B. (2001).
The effect of academic self-concept on ADHD and antisocial behaviors in early adolescence Journal of Learning Disabilities, 34, 450-461.
“In a major longitudinal study (Project Follow Through - $1 billion over nearly three decades) of more than 15,000 students, Direct Instruction showed the greatest positive impact on all three types of development assessed – basic skills, problem solving, and self esteem”.
Association of American Educators. (2001). Project Follow Through.
“We have not found evidence that boosting self-esteem (by therapeutic interventions or school programs) causes benefits. Our findings do not support continued widespread efforts to boost self-esteem in the hope that it will by itself foster improved outcomes. In view of the heterogeneity of high self-esteem, indiscriminate praise might just as easily promote narcissism, with its less desirable consequences.
Instead, we recommend using praise to boost self-esteem as a reward for socially desirable behavior and self-improvement.”
Baumeister, R. F. Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003).
Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4(1), 1-44.
A study popularized by Charles Krauthammer, writing in Time magazine, investigated the self- concepts of 13-year-olds in Britain, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Spain, and the United States. Each was administered a standardized math test. In addition, they were asked to rate the
statement: "I am good at mathematics." The Americans judged their abilities the most highly (68 percent agreed with the statement!). On the actual math test, the Americans came last. Krauthammer concludes:
"American students may not know their math, but they have evidently absorbed the lessons of the newly fashionable self-esteem curriculum wherein kids are taught to feel good about themselves”.
Krauthammer, C. (1990, Feb 5). Education: Doing bad and feeling good.
"The preponderance of the data illustrate that self-esteem is irrelevant in all areas of education."
1. High expectations for students are damaging for their self-esteem.
2. Evaluation (grading, testing, report cards) is punitive, stressful, and damaging to self-esteem.
3. Teaching and learning must always be "relevant" and student-centered.
4. Effort is more important than achievement.
5. Competition leads to low self-esteem and should be replaced by cooperation.
6. Students should be promoted from one grade to the next, irrespective of achievement (social promotion) in order to preserve their self-esteem.
7. Discipline is bad for self-esteem and should therefore be dispensed with.
8. Teachers should be therapists.
9. It is the teacher's, not the student's, responsibility to ensure learning.
10. Feeling is more important than thinking”.
Stout, M. (2000). The feel-good curriculum: The dumbing down of America's kids in the name of self-esteWhen a kid’s in trouble in my class, I don’t change the way I smile - I alter his curriculum.
Susan O’ Hanigan
See more at Illinois Loop http://www.illinoisloop.org/selfesteem.html