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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Now That Tag Is Outlawed- Next On The Hit List Is "Go Fish"

I am big proponent of sports as a means of teaching valuable lessons and to motivate people to exceed their expectations. Todays education barons instead want children to avoid the experience of losing so scores are not kept in ballgames, everyone wins an award in science fairs merely for entering (and what about the feelings of those who suffer EDS or effort deficit syndrome), purple pens grade papers rather than the "harsh" red pen and, get this, the game of tag is outlawed in a California elementary school. As my 4-year old says, "For real".

Co-author of "One Nation Under Therapy", Christina Hoff Sommers writes in the USA Today:

Too many educators, parents and camp counselors today are obsessed with boosting the self-esteem of the children in their care. These adults not only refrain from criticizing their young charges when they perform badly, they also take pains to praise them even when they've done nothing to deserve it.

But two decades of research have failed to show a significant connection between high self-esteem and achievement, kindness, or good personal relationships. Unmerited self-esteem, on the other hand, is known to be associated with antisocial behavior — even criminality. Nevertheless, most of our national institutions and organizations that deal with children remain fixated on self-esteem.

My theory is that educators, being the most anti-capitalist, envy-ridden group in America, have very low self-esteem. Because they recognize this trait, they assume it is a trait in everyone. Why do they have this low self-esteem and hatred of capitalists? Because they see themselves as failures. Education majors, linguists and others who major in many of the other humanities need to feel they have accomplished more than the business, hard science and math majors have. However, the free market rightly rewards the producers. Educators' lower status economically makes them feel bad about themselves. Thus, self-esteem for all must be raised. And the reality of winners and losers so beautifully scored by capitalism is something they abhor. No wonder they tend towards socialism.

Sommers refers to a study in the Scientific American entitled "Exploding the Self-esteem Myth". The authors, Roy F. Baumeister, Jennifer D. Campbell, Joachim I. Krueger and Kathleen D. Vohs, write: "We have found little to indicate that indiscriminately promoting self-esteem in today's children or adults, just for being themselves, offers society any compensatory benefits beyond the seductive pleasure it brings to those engaged in the exercise."

Let's keep scores in ballgames. How else would we know whether Steve Nash should fire up a three or feed Amare Stoudemire for a jam to win tonight! (Some of you out there know what I mean).

7 Comments:

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Allen Gorin said...

Also, as commentary on your "Outlawing Tag........" post, you might want to read Ludwig Von Mises' book, The Anti-Capitalist Mentality. One of the greatest insights I got from Von Mises pertained to why journalists are so against the free market. With all their education, they tend to be poorly paid, as measured against, let's say, a typical businessman who may not have even graduated from highschool. Yet, that journalist is often required to rub shoulders (i.e. interview) with that higher-paid businessman. "Obviously, the economic system must be a screwy one for rewards to be apportioned in such a way!!!" thinks the journalist.

A simililar phenomenon is at work with college professors. Why should a guy who produces underwear for a living make more than a professor who teaches Beowulf? "The indignity of it all!!! Let's change the system," cry those in academia.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Quant Trader said...

I don't know what prompted it but one day when I was still in Junior Highschool my mother told me "Almost all teachers are idiots. Education is the easiest major in college. When I was in college everyone knew this, including the education majors. They had special easy versions of all of the hard classes like Calculus for the education majors. Most teachers hate smart kids because they never felt smart themselves. Smart kids remind them of how stupid they have always felt in acedemic settings."

In highschool I always remembered those words. They comforted me everytime I knew I was right and my teachers were wrong.

Sure enough, I had the opportunity to see for myself what my Mother meant when I entered my freshman year of college. Every time I passed the television lounce of my freshman dorm on my way to lab or class there was always this same group of kids hanging around watching tv, all hours of the day.
Mostly they were watching MTV or soap operas.

I didn't get it at first. I and everyone I knew was working their asses off. I didn't know anyone who had time to watch TV all day, but most of the people I knew my first semester of college were majoring in Biology or Chemistry. It all made sense once I found out those kids in the TV lounge were all education majors.

 
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