The Dumbing Down of America’s Kids in the Name of Self-Esteem
Maureen Stout, Ph.D, 2000
The so-called self-esteem movement-a progressive, child-centered, discovery model of schooling-has transformed schools into therapeutic clinics and teachers into counselors, creating a generation of entitled, righteous, underachieving children. An insider’s account of the pernicious aspects of this seemingly well-meaning movement, The Feel-Good Curriculum provides devastating evidence that our belief in the power and importance of self-esteem in education is misplaced and without basis.Avoiding political posturing and political correctness, The Feel-Good Curriculum identifies the four specific effects of self-esteem’s stranglehold on our schools-narcissism, emotivism, separatism, and cynicism. It prescribes antidotes to them-empathy, rationality and morality, connectedness, and skepticism-and offers a hopeful view of educational philosophy for the next millennium. Professor Stout urges us to replace our coddling, indulgent approach to building self-esteem in children with a sense of authentic self-confidence developed from intellectual, physical, and moral effort and achievement.