Sunday, February 12, 2012

Self-esteem, how to earn it...

I am at John Burroughs School in St. Louis as part of an ISACS review team to help with an accreditation review of their practical arts department. They have an absolutely lovely facility, that is huge in proportion to our tiny Clear Spring School. I expect to have a lot to learn through this visit. I met some of the teaching staff this evening and look forward to visiting with them tomorrow.

In the meantime, the comic strip Dunesbury this morning had the following quote from a teacher,"You may have been warned that this classroom is one of the few that has never been infected by the self-esteem craze." It seems that even children have the capacity to tell the real from the false, and to become engaged in the real and repelled by that which has been contrived to sustain their false sense of self-esteem. Give them real things to do and they will earn esteem they can trust. For it will be their own, and not something made up by others as a manipulatory device. This same idea came through a segment this morning on NPR, "What French Parents Do That Americans Don't".
The author mentioned that French parents allow their children to earn self-esteem on their own.

One of the things about this school, John Burroughs, is that it had grown up in the early days of progressive education, and had grown progressively back toward the mainstream, but away from the progressivism of its roots. That's, my friends, is the inevitable in this day of standardized testing, for parents, teachers and administrators all want some evidence of measurable success. For me, this visit is an opportunity to examine progressivism and what it really means and how it can be still better applied at the Clear Spring School. Progressive education does not mean the newest thing, but rather an education that grows progressively from the interests of the child.

It is truly an honor to be here with such a fine educational institution.

Make, break, fix and create...

No comments:

Post a Comment