Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is self confidence harming our students?

I know it is only a short blurb from their "Primary Sources" page, but the October Atlantic Monthly included the following statement:

Motivational speakers may tell you to believe in yourself, but if you want to do well in school, you may be better off taking a more pessimistic attitude toward your own abilities.
accompanied by this graph:

I find this assertion somewhat distressing on a number of levels. First, the idea that there is a causal relationship between low self-confidence and better test scores is certainly not supported by the figure and, I seriously doubt, is supported by any solid evidence anywhere. Second, self-confidence is, by itself, a very good thing. It is an important part of individual's social capital, and many argue that American's high confidence levels promote entrepreneurism and economic growth. While I would much rather that the US looked more like Singapore (high confidence and high test scores), I view the fact that our students believe in themselves as a success for our education system and our society as a whole.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]