Video

Through the Education Lens

Have We Created A Generation Of Followers?

CJ Westerberg, June 20, 2010 10:35 AM

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From Over-Praising & Over-Structuring,
Have We Created A Young Adult World Fraught With
Paralysis and Fear Of Failure? 


What Teachers, Parents & Schools Can Do Now
(Two) 2 Min. Videos Below

By S.M.

From The Atlantic Monthly: "How A New Jobless Era Will Transform America - The Recession And America's Youth".   Excerpts (it's a long important piece and far too many for this space):

". . .Many of today's young adults seem temperamentally unprepared for the circumstances in which they now find themselves. Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University . . .

Did This Generation Receive
Too Much Direction and Too Many Checklists?

. . .In her 2006 book, Generation Me, Twenge notes that self-esteem in children began rising sharply around 1980, and hasn't stopped since. . . .Twenge attributes the shift to broad changes in parenting styles and teaching methods, in response to the growing belief that children should always feel good about themselves, no matter what. As the years have passed, efforts to boost self-esteem--and to decouple it from performance--have become widespread.

These efforts have succeeded in making today's youth more confident and individualistic. But that may not benefit them in adulthood, particularly in this economic environment. Twenge writes that "self-esteem without basis encourages laziness rather than hard work," and that "the ability to persevere and keep going" is "a much better predictor of life outcomes than self-esteem. . . .

 . . . .Ron Alsop, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the author of The Trophy Kids Grow Up: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaking Up the Workplace, says a combination of entitlement and highly structured childhood has resulted in a lack of independence and entrepreneurialism in many 20-somethings.They're used to checklists, he says, and "don't excel at leadership or independent problem solving." Alsop interviewed dozens of employers for his book, and concluded that unlike previous generations, Millennials, as a group, "need almost constant direction" in the workplace. "Many flounder without precise guidelines but thrive in structured situations that provide clearly defined rules."

All of these characteristics are worrisome, given a harsh economic environment that requires perseverance, adaptability, humility, and entrepreneurialism. Perhaps most worrisome, though, is the fatalism and lack of agency that both Twenge and Alsop discern in today's young adults. Trained throughout childhood to disconnect performance from reward, and told repeatedly that they are destined for great things, many are quick to place blame elsewhere when something goes wrong, and inclined to believe that bad situations will sort themselves out--or will be sorted out by parents or other helpers. . . "

  (Two) 2 Min. Videos Below

#1 How We Teach & Fear Of Failure
#2 The Negative Effects Of Our Obsession With Building Self-Esteem & Structure





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