Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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褒めるだけで伸びるのか?

 
小学校の運動会で「手をつないで一緒にゴール」という話は実際に日本で行われているところがあるのかわかりませんが、参加者皆がメダルをもらえるエピソードをロンドン在住のライターが書いていました。こういうのはどこの世界でもあるんですね。

JOANNA POCOCK FEBRUARY 22, 2017
ARE WE SPOILING OUR KIDS WITH TOO MUCH PRAISE?


When my daughter came home from her third-grade sports day with a plastic gold medal, I asked her what she had won it for.

“We all got a medal,” she beamed.


ライターはこのような“gold medal for all”アプローチに批判的です。それはARE WE SPOILING OUR KIDS WITH TOO MUCH PRAISE?(褒めすぎて子供をダメにしていないか)というタイトルからも容易に想像できます。この文章は関連エピソードから初めて問題提起というよくある流れで書かれています。a society that values praise over engagement and end goals over process(取り組みよりも褒めることに、過程よりも最終目的に価値を置く社会)に疑問を感じているということでライターの主張はそれを逆にしたものかなと推測できますね。

Educators and psychologists have debated the subject of praising children just for showing up for decades. You often hear comments like, “We are in a new age of narcissism” or, “We are entering a new me generation.” Is there, in fact, a connection between entitlement and how much praise we give our children? If so, what can we, as parents, caregivers, and educators do about it?

Although the debate is far from over, well-accepted studies in this area come to the conclusion that, yes, in many ways our well-intentioned tendency to lavish our offspring with praise is fueling a generation of narcissists. I am still not happy with the “gold medal for all” approach to sports day, but I have to grapple with the fact that many of us live in a society that values praise over engagement and end goals over process.


日本では「教育勅語」が話題になっていますが、どのように子供を育てるかは時代によって考え方が変わるもの。昭和時代は「体罰」なんてありましたがこれはビクトリア朝の考えでもあったようで、Spare the rod and spoil the child.ということわざを使っています。1960年代のカウンターカルチャーでは子供も大人として扱い子供の自主性を尊重するようになったそうです。現代はその中庸に当たるとか。

In the 1960s and 70s, the cultural pendulum had swung a great distance from the Victorian idea that sparing the rod would spoil the child. We had, thankfully, moved from seeing children as little adults who could be sent down the mines, to viewing them more or less as equals. Child-led learning was gaining ground; parents told their kids to call them Carol and Bob, not Mom and Dad. The issue of praise has swung alongside the pendulum: Gone is the Dickensian approach of “building character” through coldness and disinterest, but parents and teachers are now beginning to question the “everything is great” mode. We have shifted toward a middle ground, one where we understand that feedback is good, but praise does not always bring about the outcome we hope it will.

Spare the rod and spoil the child.に関してはロングマンやオックスフォードもエントリーそのものがなかったです。ケンブリッジもold-fashioned sayingとラベル付けしています。そのあたりの時代の変化は英和辞典では反映しきれていないようです。トムソーヤの冒険でも学校の先生によるムチ打ちのシーンがありますね。13分30秒あたりから。



(ウィズダム)
rod
(棒状の)むち, 細枝; 〖the ~〗むち打ち, 体罰
▸ Spare the rod and spoil the child.
⦅ことわざ⦆子供は甘やかすとだめになる


(ケンブリッジ)
spare the rod and spoil the child
old-fashioned saying
​said to mean that if you do not punish a child when they do something wrong, they will not learn what is right


「褒める」ことに力点を置くとどうなるのか?良い成績を収めることが学習の主目的になりやすいというのです。評価されることしかやりたがらないのは、TOEICなどの資格試験しかやりたがらない人たちが思いのほか多いことからも見て取れますね。

If praise becomes the focus for preschoolers, and then shifts into wanting those gold stars at elementary school, it can then segue into craving the top grades in high school. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but all we are doing is training our children to attain goals rather than to pursue learning for its own sake. In fact, a study of college students found that they rated “achieving the highest grade possible” as their main reason for learning. Things like “increasing one’s knowledge” or “undertaking work as a matter of personal challenge” rated much lower in their priorities.

ではどうすればいいのか?One simple way is to praise the effort over the outcome.と結果ではなく過程を大事にして、また問題点について冷静にフィードバックすることだと述べています。

So how do we foster in our children a desire to learn, rather than a desire to please us? One simple way is to praise the effort over the outcome. Not only does this encourage them to keep doing whatever it is, it takes the focus away from “good” and “bad,” placing it on the idea that working toward something can be its own reward. In other words, instead of thinking about praising our children, we should be concentrating on encouraging them. Some psychologists are keen to emphasize that we need to provide specific feedback rather than overall generalizations. We should also work toward creating an atmosphere where children feel safe making mistakes. Failure is part of the process of learning and is something we often overlook.

学術的な研究をベースにしていますが、結論は常識的な観点からも共感できるものです。実社会は成功だけでなく失敗もあるし、喜ぶこともあれば失敗することもあるので、そのような複雑な社会に対応できるスキルを身につけることが大事なのではないかというのです。

It is up to us to see that the children in our midst are presented with the mess of reality, with their failures as well as successes, with joy as much as disappointment. We owe them more than plastic gold medals for participation: We owe them the ability to confront complexity. It is our honesty—and not our distracted “wows”—that will provide our children with the skills needed to live in the real world, the one that lies beyond the bubble of constant praise.

なかなか難しいものですが、長い目で見るとスコア目指した学習と学びそのものをしてきた学習では実力にに大きな差が出てしまうのも事実です。一番恐ろしいのは10年、20年経った後ではもう手遅れだということ。

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