Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Is self confidence harming our students?
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.
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