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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 11 2012: I'd say you have something here. When I was growing up, I was told it says in the Bible you can say a person did a foolish thing, but don't call him/her a fool.
    What are the implications of your division for the death penalty, in other words, when we put someone to death we are saying that person didn't just make a mistake, they are a mistake.
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      Nov 17 2012: I agree. (Death penalty works under false assumptions based on shame)

      We can't claim the other person is a mistake and when we say so of ourselves it is actually not helpful. I am a mistake in the sense that two college students in the 50s had sex without intending to cause me. They did. But they bore the lion's share of shame by getting married, having two more "cover up" kids, and never telling me the truth about my origins. Even though I was shielded from shame this way I know that everyone that has at least a little shame swamp tumor lurking about in their personal baggage.

      BTW I'm not a believer, but the principles you speak of seem sound.

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