It is worth while, but it’s important to note two things that I have observed teaching 400-level classes in educational psychology
1) no serious researcher takes self-esteem seriously
2) nearly every pre-service teacher takes self-esteem seriously
I suspect this is becasue of the influence of the regular education faculty, who have limited training in the theory and methods of psychology, but a lot of exposure to educational fads like emotional intelligence.
To complicated matters, there is a predctively valid concept caled “sellf-efficacy,” which unfortunately shares the same initials as self-efficayc.
Here are examples of self-esteem questions
- I feel good about myself (True / False)
- I am a good person (True / False)
- I am happy with who I am (True False)
- I am good at math (True False)
Here are examples of self efficacy questions
On a scale of 0 to 100, how confident are you that you can perform the following tasks?
- Correctly add these two numbers: 5 and 3
- Correctly add these two numbers: 5353 less 3349
- Correctly subtract these two numbers: 5 less 3
- Correctly subtractthese two numbers: 5353 and 3349
- Correctly multiple these two numbers: 5 and 3
- Correctly multiplethese two numbers: 5353 and 3349
- Correctly divide these two numbers: 5 into 3
- Correctly divide these two numbers: 5353 into 3349
No one takes self-esteem seriously. Criticizing it is like criticizing holocaust denial: an excersize in frustration.
Self-efficacy is one of the best motivational constructs we have.
Update: Using the terms ‘entitlement’ (think: ‘self esteem’) and ‘locus of control’ (think: ‘self efficacy’) the New York Times covers similar ground.