Self -Esteem and Student Success

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The Effects of Self-Esteem on Student Success
Cristine Scott
Central Michigan University
CED 502 Student Development in Higher Education
Mr. John Laliberté

In today’s’ society, success is often measured by academic and professional achievement. Higher education provides more opportunity and freedom. Statistics verify that generally, the more highly educated have higher earnings and there is a significant difference between wages earned by employees with College degrees and those without. Higher education is often perceived as a means to a ‘better life’ .Though many recognize the benefits of higher education, the rate at which students leave in their first year of College is still very high. Students leave their first year of College for
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Individuals with low self-esteem often suffer from feelings of inferiority and depression. In these cases, academic success is certainly challenging. I reinforce this notion by paralleling with the social and emotional well-being of students with learning disabilities. Those that have had positive experiences both at school and at home do not necessarily suffer from low self-esteem. Support and guidance are key issues in maintaining good self-concept in these individuals. Focusing on skills other than those measured through academic evaluations allows students with learning disabilities to recognize their value and self-worth as a whole not just through academic performance. Justifiably, most do have a negative self-perception of their academic competencies, but still prove to have good self-esteem. I would argue that self-esteem is indeed critical to student success. Certainly, Maslow’s theory and model of student development can provide insight on the importance of self-esteem in self-actualization. Maslow’s theory understands self-esteem to be a measure of a human beings understanding of his or her acceptance and value. In order for an individual to have good self-esteem, he needs to perceive himself as understood, respected and useful. Recognition of the environment’s influence on self-esteem will necessarily help us to understand the importance of providing a positive educational framework in our classrooms. We must not undervalue the
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