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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: shame can be an extremely positive thing as it encourages self-improvement. students who are ashamed with a poor test score or shoddy work tend to make an effort to do better next time. the problem is with kids who have no shame!

    the single case where i'd agree with you is that kids should never be ashamed to have a guess. making an attempt even when unsure if you're right or not is important.

    this is the very reason why education in america has declined so much in recent years. instead of helping students improve and achieve, teachers are forced to push the tolerance of mediocrity. we should always strive to be the best we can be, and be ashamed when we've done ourselves a disservice by not trying to live up to our potential.

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