The aim of this essay is to create a body of knowledge for a follow-on research on the subject of the impact of self-esteem on the behaviour of primary school pupils. For this purpose, information was gathered through observations as well as through study and analysis of materials presented in books, research journals, and professional publications so as to identify characteristic features of low/high self-esteem and to determine the appropriate strategies for developing children's healthy self-esteem within primary school context.
[...] (1970) The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, London, Viking Press Miron, C. (1971) Behaviour Modification Guide for Teachers. Great Britain: Behavioural Information and Technology. McNamara, S., Moreton, G. (1996) Changing Behaviour: Teaching Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Primary and Secondary Classrooms, London, David Fulton Mosley, J. (1996) Quality Circle Time in the Primary Classroom, Cambridge, LDA Noam, G., Wren, T. (1993). The Moral Self. Cambridge: MIT Press. Nucci, L. (Ed.). (1998) Character education: A dialogue. Berkeley: McCutchan Osler, A. [...]
[...] Therefore, if we can do something to give children a stronger sense of themselves, starting in preschool, they'll be a lot wiser in the choices they make" (Noam and Wren, 1993: 37) high self-esteem High self-esteem can be briefly defined as having a high regard for oneself, which is widely regarded as a desirable quality evenly balanced with intelligence, knowledge, achievement, or moral honesty. Besides its intrinsic appeal, high self-esteem is often honoured as the root cause of many desirable types of behaviour, by the same logic as socially troublesome behaviour is often explained as an outcome of low self-esteem. [...]
[...] The research revealed that pupils of all abilities benefit from differentiated approach in terms of both developing positive self-esteem and learning achievements, as the approach aims at setting realistic goals by providing activities with a suitable level of challenge. Furthermore, group work in a differentiated classroom provides children with additional opportunity for discussion, decision-making, cooperation, initiative, negotiation, compromise, and evaluation of the outcomes of their own efforts. In this way, children's self-esteem can be based on their contribution to the work of the group: When children are engaged in project work with others, they can evaluate the extent to which they have answered the questions they began with, and assess the work accomplished on criteria developed with their teacher concerning the accuracy, completeness, and interest value of their final products” (Pollard, 1996: 18). [...]
[...] Classroom rules make it clear to pupils what is expected of them, creating an important “framework for pupils' self- evaluation and positive correlation between self-esteem and achievement.” (Lawrence, 1988: 35) The process of establishing classroom rules is especially important in primary classrooms, since it forms the initial basis for managing young children's behaviour. McNamara and Moreton (1996: 54) think that the rule forming process “should ideally be undertaken when a group is just forming, and should be returned to if there is a problem with one particular rule being broken at any point later Involving pupils in the process of creating rules is an important factor in increasing pupils' sense of personal meaning and responsibility toward the rules. [...]
[...] In accordance with the first position, self-esteem is seen as an emotional generalised feeling about the self that is more or less positive: “Self-esteem is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and of being worthy of happiness.” (Branden, 1994: The second position supports the point of view that self-esteem is primarily the cumulative result of a set of judgements, which are about one's adequacy across a range of dimensions - intellectual competence, social skills, appearance, physical co-ordination, and so on. [...]
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