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Grades and Self-Esteem by Mandy Moore Essay

Randy Moore has, in his article, discussed how grades have been compromised over building and nurturing the self-esteem of the students in most of the educational institutions in U. S. A. He is of the view that the primary focus of the educational institutions has shifted away from education to building self-esteem which has led to the creation of students and professionals who lack the basic knowledge about their subjects and are unable to think critically. The article states that this is the result of making high self-esteem a precondition for success.

This is seen by Randy Moore the main cause of the poor products produced by the current educational institutions in the country. According to Randy Moore, this culture of perceiving high self-esteem as a precondition for success has led the teachers feel bad about giving poor grades to the deserving students. This is because it has been established in their minds that if the self-esteem of a student is hurt, he may not be able to excel in his/her life or may lose his sense of dignity.

This has in effect resulted in recruiting problems for the top companies in U. S. A. These companies have complained about how it is becoming more difficult for them to find competitive workers locally and that a high percentage of the entry-level workers are unable to pass even the 7th grade exam. This has resulted in a lot of companies shipping their paperwork to other countries because the local workers make too many mistakes.

The author further adds that the only way to change this cycle of producing incompetent products at educational institutions is to establish in the minds of the teachers and students that self-esteem is earned and not just handed over to anyone. He is of the view that it should be instilled in the minds of the students that achievement comes after putting in a lot of hard work and is not just an entitlement acquired by everyone. It is these changes in the perception and beliefs of the students that will make them better skilled and more valuable to the U.

S. workforce and society as a whole. The article is very meaningful and makes a lot of sense to me. It is apparent from the statistics provided in the article that standard of grading has gone down over the years and it has made it very difficult to distinguish the good students from the average, for example, if 80% of the students are given A or B grade then how is one to choose between the academic performance of these students.

Besides, I completely agree with Randy Moore’s view on how this kind of grading system is putting both students and their parents in a fool’s paradise. If everyone is appreciated only for the sake of not hurting a person’s self-esteem, then there is no way that individuals will be able to find out their unique capabilities and skills. It is further, evident from the international study of 13 year olds cited in the article that high self-esteem is not a substitute for a specific skill of capability when it comes to achieving success in practical life.

It is only when one has the proper skills that the high self-esteem will enhance the performance of an individual. Therefore there must be a balance between both high self-esteem and the quality of skills or education a person possesses. I feel that it is all right not to put the students in primary stage of their education under the stress of a harsh grading system but it is very important that the grading system from secondary education onwards should be such that it inculcates competitiveness.

I would recommend that till primary education, the major focus should be on building the self-esteem and once the student enters into college he/she must be graded solely on how he/she performs academically. This is because the best time to build a person’s self-esteem is during the early days of his/her life. Once that period is gone it is very difficult to change a person’s self-esteem. Bibliography Moore, Randy. “Grades and Self-Esteem. ” The American Biology Teacher 55, 7: (1993) 388.


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