Joanne Jacobs, educator, blogger and author of Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds, participates today in our Author Speaks Series with an excellent article on how “Schools won’t improve until administrators and teachers can admit the problems, analyze what’s going wrong and try new strategies. Students won’t improve if they think they’re “special” just the way they are.” Enjoy, and feel free to add your comment to engage in a stimulating conversation.
When self-esteem became an education watchword in 1986, I thought it was a harmless fad. I was wrong: It wasn’t harmless. Many teachers were persuaded that students should be pumped up with praise, regardless of their performance. Schools lowered expectations so students couldn’t fail. Everyone got an “I Am Special” sticker. Till the standards and accountability movement kicked in, students often were judged by how they felt about learning not by whether they’d actually learned something.