For those of you with Wall Street Journal access, there is an interesting article in today's science section entitled "Real Self-Esteem Builds on Achievement, Not Praise for Slackers." Studies have shown that praising kids to build their self-esteem, even when they did nothing to deserve the praise, does not lead to better school or job performance. An excerpt:
But long overdue scientific scrutiny points out the foolishness of supposing that people's opinion of themselves can be the cause of achievement. Rather, high-esteem is the result of good performance…
…and speaking of backfiring, high self-esteem fosters experimentation, which may increase teenage indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs.
What will the NEA think of this?