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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 7 2012: The educational system is based on the manufacturing model. For over one hundred years, interchangeable parts, assembly-line production, and standardization have represented the efficient way to supply markets with affordable merchandise and job markets with compliant workers. For the most part, the United States can attribute its current philosophy toward public education to John Dewey. Dewey’s goal was“. . . to turn public schools into indoctrination centers to develop a socialized population that could adapt to an egalitarian state operated by an intellectual elite" (Waiting for Superman http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/action/)..
    However efficient such a system may appear, schools do not produce merchandise; they foster creativity and educate America’s youth so that they can construct promising futures. Current educators recognize the pessimistic metaphor and refer to a large percentage of our nation’s schools as “drop out factories” (Balfan Waiting for Superman http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/action/).

    Once the system sorts and labels students, they lose any desire to learn. They have been conditioned to recognize only their limitations. The negative conditioning does produce shame, but worse than that, it produces apathy. Additionally, it reduces learning to the lowest common denominator.

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