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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 3 2012: It is the job of a teacher to attempt to assess and maximize your potential. It is not the job of anyone to use shame as a tool to achieve results. Using a open grading system by defination could be a part of shaming a student.

    There appears to be a mix of replies regarding shame and what I term as regret. Regreting that I did not catch the winning TD is not the same as the shame of not doing it.

    I do not see shame as a hinderance to education usless the teacher is the one who is assigning the shame publiclly.

    Shame would imply total failure and if a teacher is heeping that burden on a student they need to be reported. Education is about being given the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed and all efforts should be to arrive at those goals. Some will assimulate faster than others and that is natural. Some will require a little more guidance from the teacher to reach the goal.

    If the "shame" is of a non-educational source it is still the job of the teacher to not judge but to ensure that the student is in a caring and nuturing environment that is concerned with their mind and given the same opportunities to excell as all other students. If the student continues to show problems that are interfering with the class or the learning environment then the student should be refered to the proper authority that is charged with counselling or mental health of the student.

    Remember that no one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Nov 4 2012: Teachers and other authority figures can often make children feel bad about themselves. With children, the maxim that "no one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission" is not quite fair, I think. High school students are still children and shaming students is one reason they may drop out of school or 'shut down" in a subject.

      I agree fully with your statement: "if a teacher is heeping that burden on a student they need to be reported. Education is about being given the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed and all efforts should be to arrive at those goals. Some will assimulate faster than others and that is natural. Some will require a little more guidance from the teacher to reach the goal."

      Students learn best when they can see evidence of their own growth and successes. It is the teacher's job to make sure this happens.
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        Nov 5 2012: I agree that part of a teacher's job is to ensure that a student is aware of their growth and success, but I believe the teacher's job extends further in this area. When a student fails, or rather attempts but does not succeed at something, I believe that it is vital for the teacher to motivate the student to persevere. When this motivation and support is not provided, I believe, shame begins to develop in the student.
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          Nov 5 2012: That is a big part of what teachers are, in fact, trained to do as well.

          When I taught in lower education, teachers had signs up that said "Mistakes are falling FORWARD."

          Unfortunately some teachers substitute other frameworks for motivating students.

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