substance vs. appearance

One big difference between the US and Korea seems to be in the sense of self.

American children get undeserved praise at much higher rates than Korean children, and it may be actually bad for their educational achievement.

Are Kids Getting Too Much Praise? - Well - Tara Parker-Pope - Health - New York Times Blog: "An excess of praise may be doing kids more harm than good. A cover story in this month’s Scholastic Instructor magazine asks whether kids today are “overpraised.'’ The concern is that by focusing on self-esteem and confidence building, parents and teachers may be giving real goals and achievement short shrift. The article cites a recent study in which eighth graders in Korea and the United States were asked whether they were good at math. Among the American students, 39 percent said they were excellent at math, compared to just 6 percent of the Korean eighth graders. But the reality was somewhat different. The Korean kids scored far better in math than the over-confident American students."

It is worth noting though that we cannot overpraise the Lil Buddha today. She suddenly discovered her hands and learned how to manipulate objects, all in a matter of minutes. Not bad in a single morning's work. Calculus is soon to come (though we will try to reserve praise at that time).


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