What can teachers doto bolster students’ confidence? Susan Hanafy
Are self-confidence and self-esteem the same thing?The terms self-esteem and self-confidence are often usedinterchangeably; however the literature defines self-esteem as a global judgement of self-worth generallybased on nothing tangible, whereas self-confidence refersto belief in one’s capacity to succeed in specific goals.
How can teachers enhance students’ self-confidence? The literature shows that the school environment should fosterconfidence rather than try to teach or force feed confidence:
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: Carol DweckAs a result of her research Carol Dweck makes the followingrecommendations to enhance students’ self-confidence:If you tell a student “You are clever”, this will cause him/her to focus onintelligence, an innate quality, giving the message that improvement isbeyond his control.Assigning labels to students, even positive ones, can be detrimental.Instead we should praise effort, concentration, and the effectiveness ofstrategies, all of which are in the students’ control.
What are the benefits of subjects such as art, music and media studies? One of the main advantages of creative endeavours suchas art, drama, photography or video work, is that theyprovide people with a vehicle to express themselves thatwould have lain dormant without this outlet. Music toocan provide this opportunity. Together with a sense ofachievement, this creative endeavour can provideopportunities to build feelings of efficacy. (Craig, 2007)
What can we do to enhance students’ self-confidence?Replace empty praise with meaningfulfeedback. Recognise that when studentsparticipate in things they enjoy they getbetter at everything because theirconfidence is bolstered. (Ken Robinson)
Suggested readingCraig, C. (2007). Creating Confidence. Glasgow: The Centre for Confidence and Well-being.Katz, L. G. (1993, October). Distinctions between Self-Esteem and Narcissism: Implications forPractice. Retrieved June 2011, from The Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting:http://ceep.crc.uiuc.edu/eecearchive/books/selfe/distinct.htmlEducationMackenzie, R. (1991). A Search for Scotland. London: HarperCollins Publishers.Montessori, M. (1995). The Absorbent Mind. New York: Henry Holt & Company.Montessori, M. (1966). The Secret of Childhood. New York: Random House Publishing Group.NACCCE. (1999). All our futures: Creativity, Culture and Education. National Advisory Committeon Creative and Cultural Education.Robinson, K. (2010, May). Bring on the Revolution. Retrieved September 2011, from TED IdeasWorth Spreading:http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.htmlRobinson, K. (2006, June). Schools Kill Creativity. Retrieved September 15, 2011, from TEDIdeas Worth Spreading:http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.htmlRobinson, K. (2005). The Arts, A Lifetime of Learning. Retrieved October 2, 2011, fromEducation Commission of the States:http://ecs.org/html/projectsPartners/Chair2005/docs/Sir_Ken_Robinson_Speech.pdfSeligman, M. E. (2007). The Optimistic Child. New York: Houghton Miffin.