Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Criticize a Child Today

In a commentary in today's Racine Journal Times, the founders of the REAL school responded to blog postings at the JT site. Neither the postings nor the subject of the postings was mentioned in the commentary.

What I found troubling about the commentary from two experienced educators was their stance on the criticism of students. "Criticism is not getting the child the help he or she needs. We need to stand up and stand by our children." And to "criticize, ridicule or stereotype is not helping to correct anything." As an aside, I would agree that ridiculing and stereotyping are not helpful. "If we expect the best from our children, we need to provide the best in terms of encouragement and reinforcement."

Is it not OK to criticize a student? Will a child be prepared for life if he or she never encounters criticism?

Sadly, education today is all about self esteem, whether warranted or not. Constant praise without firm criticism and discipline will create self absorbed, ill prepared prima donnas unable to accept or evaluate criticism from others.

Methinks some well deserved criticism might be constructive.

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