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Jake Frackson

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Shame is a hinderance to education.

In Brené Brown's "Listening to Shame," she describes the difference between guilt and shame: guilt is "I made a mistake" and shame is "I am a mistake." By accepting these definitions, can it not be assumed that shame is not needed in schools? If shame is a personal opinion of oneself, is it not then only a hinderance to gaining an education?

In an article that I wrote recently(jakefrackson.wordpress.com - You Should be Ashamed of Yourself), I discuss shame and its role in education systems. I explore the use of shame and why, I believe, it is not necessary.

Working with the definition of shame above, is shame a hinderance to education?


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  • Nov 2 2012: Shame does have effect education. Whether it is someone who regularly struggles with learning or someone who normally excels, it can have a very negative impact. For students who may not be the top in the class, shame could cause them to drop out. It is just as hard on the student who is driven to get that 100% too. I saw a presentation recently on the book, “The Overachievers” by Alexandra Robins which had a very similar theme to this topic. Some of the facts and cases from it were quite appalling, but it showed how far this concept of shame from education can go.

    I think that the shame of not excelling in school is given in the hopes that it will make someone try harder and strive to do better. But I don’t think that it isn’t often taken in by the student like that. It is considered instead as something more personal, because a judgement of something you have done is like a judgement of you.

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