Self-Esteem is Overrated

Here's a very interesting article on the use of praise and reward in education/child development.
The basic premise is that praising and rewarding hard work encourages children to be good at what they do, while praising a child for being "smart" (i.e., for having innate intelligence) will actually encourage them to underestimate their own abilities and avoid challenges that will show true results.

After recording a "High School for Home Schoolers" conference last week, I think the "emphasis on esteem" thinking is definitely over-used; then again, there's a difference between "you're so smart that you don't need to do grade 12 math" and "grade 12 math won't really help you get a job in retail or admission to bible college, so don't worry about it if you're not doing well."

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