The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

American Children Are Drowning in Self-esteem

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James Astill in The Eonomist:

Yet my children’s experience of school in America is in some ways as indifferent as their swimming classes are good, for the country’s elementary schools seem strangely averse to teaching children much stuff. According to the oecd’s latest international education rankings, American children are rated average at reading, below average at science, and poor at maths, at which they rank 27th out of 34 developed countries. At 15, children in Massachusetts, where education standards are higher than in most states, are so far behind their counterparts in Shanghai at maths that it would take them more than two years of regular education to catch up.


At the heart of the problem is an educational ethos that prizes building self-esteem over academic attainment. This is based on a theory that self-confidence leads to all manner of other virtues, including academic achievement, because children who feel good about themselves will love learning – right?

It is not the self-esteem educational ethos; it is the American ethos against education itself. Just look at the political climate in America today: book bannings, rewriting American history, attacking and blaming underpaid teachers. Not to mention that American schools are turning into war zones. These are just a few obvious issues that highlight the situation.