Self Esteem - Verónica de Andrés


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Self Esteem - Verónica de Andrés

  1. 1. SELF-ESTEEM IN THE CLASSROOM OR THE METAMORPHOSIS OF BUTTERFLIES Verónica de Andrés Presentation performed by Antonio Fernandes de Carvalho and José Carlos Santana
  2. 2. All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today. Ancient Chinese proverb
  4. 4. WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHILD THAT CAN EASILY GRASP CONCEPTS, WORDS, MEANING IN A SECOND LANGUAGE AND ONE THAT CAN HARDLY UNDERSTAND OR UTTER A WORD?  Negative feelings towards others as a result of negative feelings about themselves;  Underachievement in school due to behavioural problems (shyness, fearfullness) and/or anti-social behaviour;  Failure expectation towards learning;  Unwilling to make decisions and express opinions;  Susceptible to be bullying and bragging.
  5. 5. DEFINITION OF SELF-ESTEEM BY STANLEY COOPERSMITH - ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IN THE ANTECEDENTS OF SELF-ESTEEM (COOPERSMITH 1967:4-5): “By self-esteem we refer to the evaluation which the individual makes and customarily maintains with regard to himself; it express an attitude of approval or disapproval, and indicates the extent to which an individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful and worthy. In short, self-esteem is a personal judgement of worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes that the individual holds towards himself”.
  6. 6. INITIAL QUESTIONS:  Why do children fail at school?  What are the learning blocks that hinder achievement?  What happens when a child fells like:  “I can´t do it” ;  “I´m not good enough”;  “I´ll never learn this”?
  7. 7. These complex questions cannot have a single, simple answer. They open up a multifold spectrum of delicate matters, but the most of these problems have the same root: a poor self-image a deep fear of failure a feeling of inadequacy. In other words, low self-esteem.  
  8. 8. Psychologist Nathaniel Branden (1987) claims that all the problems, except those that have a biological origin, are related to low self-esteem.
  9. 9. Studies results indicate that low self-esteem can be the explanation for many of the problems that our students suffer at school. When children have negative feelings about themselves, they are more likely to display negative feelings towards others, to underachieve in school, and to develop behavioural problems and/or anti-social behaviour.
  10. 10. THE ROOT OF LOW SELF-ESTEEM: A poor self-image; A deep fear of failure; A feeling of inadequacy.
  11. 11. FIVE KEY COMPONENTS TO TURN A SCHOOL INTO A SUPPORTIVE PLACE TOWARDS LEARNING: A sense of security; A sense of identity; A sense of belonging; A sense of purpose; A sense of personal competence.
  12. 12. THE USEFULNESS OF USING SELF-ESTEEM ACTIVITIES IN THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM TO PROMOTE VALUES AND POSITIVE ATTITUDES: 1. To develop children´s undestanding of themselves and their uniqueness as a matter of encouraging them to think positively about themselves. 2. To develop understanding of others: to be respectful of others, tolerant and cooperative; thus promoting friendship-making to encourage children to think and express themselves positively towards others. 3. To communicate more effectively: to listen while others are speaking; to wait for their turn; to improve language skills.
  13. 13.  If a child self-esteem can be enhanced in the foreign language classroom, will any consequences be observed in social relationships and academic performance?
  14. 14. This question spurred two qualitative classroom research projects called ‘I ´m Glad I´m Me’ conducted in 1993 and 1996 by Andrés in cooperation with three EFL teachers working in two privately-owned Argentine primary schools.
  15. 15. Classroom research or ‘on the wings of self-esteem’  In the light of the nature of this research, ultimately aimed at attacking the ‘I can´t-do-it- feeling’ with pratical solutions, it seemed particularly appropriated to choose action- research as the methodological frame to bring together theory and classroom practice.  An action-research provides a way of working which links theory and practice into one whole: ideas-in-action.
  16. 16.  The subjects of both studies were Spanish- speaking children, ranging from six to nine years old, who were learning English as a foreign language through intensive instruction given by their teachers in the school´s afternoon shift.  The first study (Andrés 1993) was conducted and implemented in Grade 3 by the writer with the assistance of the language teacher, while the second one (Andrés 1996) was implemented in grades 1 and 2 by language teachers themselves under the guidance of the researcher.
  17. 17.  Cohen and Manion´s eight-stage model was chosen as a flexible framework for both the studies: First stage - identification, formulation and evaluation of the problem Second stage - preliminary discussion Third stage - review of literature
  18. 18. Fourth stage – projection of objectives: 1 To develop children´s understand of themselves: to learn about their uniqueness; to enhance their ability to express feelings; to encourage them to think positively about themselves. 2 To develop understanding of others: to be respectful of others, tolerant and cooperative; to increase awareness of and skills in friendship-making; to encourage children to think and express themselves positively towards others.
  19. 19.  Fourth stage – projection of objectives: 3 To communicate more effectively: to listen while others are speaking; to wait for their turn; to improve language skills. To achieve these objectives, the following concepts were to be explored: Uniqueness Growth and Change Feelings, Talents and Abilities Cooperation Friendship Communication
  20. 20. To achieve these objectives, the following concepts were to be explored: Uniqueness Growth and Change Feelings, Talents and Abilities Cooperation Friendship Communication
  21. 21. These concepts would be taught through a mixture of: I Brainstorming II Feeling circles III Activity-sheets IV Arts and crafts V Reading and writing VI Singing
  22. 22. Fifth stage - selection of research tools I Andrés decided to incorporated a variety of procedures to ensure triangulation, making use of both qualitative and quantitative tools: discussions with the teachers, questionnaires to students and parents, interviews with the teachers, classroom observations, field notes and teacher´s diaries.
  23. 23. Fifth stage II In addition, some children with indications of low self-esteem would be selected in order to construct case studies. Data collection for these would be provided by researcher´s and teacher´s diaries, field notes, classroom observations and projective tests.
  24. 24. Sixth stage - evaluation procedures Seventh stage - implementation of the project Eighth stage - interpretation of data & conclusions
  25. 25. THE ACTIVITIES The techniques presented by Andrés aim to demonstrate that is possible to build a pleasant environment in classroom, where learning will be inevitable.
  26. 26. THE ACTIVITIES – LITERATURE Do You Want To Be My Friend? by Eric Carle (Friendship) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Growth and Change) Ernie´s Little Lie by Elliot Dam (Lies) Nobody Cares About Me by Sara Roberts (Isolation) Where The Butterflies Grow by J. Rider (Growth and Change) Where The Wild Things Are by M. Sendak
  27. 27.  The activities: Circle Time (White 1992) Special Day (White 1992) The Paper Chain (Borba and Borba 1982) The Car Wash (Canfield and Wells 1976) Sparkle Bags (Borba 1989) The Mail Box
  28. 28. The activities I Sunflowers (Borba and Borba 1982) II Fingerprints (Borba and Borba 1978) III Butterflies IV Big books
  29. 29. Case study: Nathaniel
  30. 30.  Criticism Should schools devote time to helping students to feel better about themselves? The intrinsic value of teaching self-esteem has been subject to controversy. Some research (Kohn 1994) questions the desirability of focusing on this issue on the grounds that to focus children´s attention on themselves could encourage self- absorption and narcissism. This would not seem to be necessarily true, but in any event, Verónica de Andrés claims that if we limit the concept to ‘happy feelings’, ‘feeling good’ or ‘confidence boosting’, we are missing the dept of the issue.
  31. 31.  Criticism Programs and efforts limited to making students feel good are apt to have little lasting effects, because they fail to strengthen the internal source of self- esteem related to: integrity, responsibility and achievement. Only by addressing these areas can one effectively build self-esteem. (Reasoner 1992:24)
  32. 32. Perhaps the value of developing self-esteem in the classroom could be best evaluated quoting the children´s own comments.
  33. 33. To the question ‘What did you learn in this project?’ they answered: ‘I learned that reading makes me grow’ ‘I learned that I´m glad I´m me’ ‘I learned that love is very important’ ‘I learned that I don´t have to hit, I can talk’ ‘I learned that I know a lot of English’ …
  34. 34. What did they develop? Love and support for others Deep insights about themselves A space for others to grow An enriched language to express their feelings and communicate their ideas.
  35. 35. Conclusions or ‘ What did I learned as a researcher? ’ ‘I learned that, as has been said, ‘Children don´t care how much we know until they know how much we care’. I discovered how important it is to discuss concepts of growth, change, uniqueness and friendship in the classroom. I learned how powerful it is, both socially and linguistically, to work with children´s needs and feelings on a systematic basis.
  36. 36. (…) ‘I learned that all classrooms should be places built on care, respect and mutual support. In such a place self-esteem is enhanced, social relationships are improved and the acquisition of the second language is inevitable.’
  37. 37. (…) ‘In such a place children´s fears about themselves are transformed. In such a place children can grow up, be beautiful and unfold their talents. They can become butterflies. With a gentle flap of their wings they can tap into the reality of their potential … and fly high, very high.’ Verónica de Andrés
  38. 38. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs motivational model  Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-50s USA, and the Hierarchy of Needs theory remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training, and personal development.