Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Those bumper stickers

  1. Apr 22, 2008 #1

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This morning I saw a bumper sticker touting "My child won a Monthly Attendance Award at blah-blah elementary school." Do we really give scholastic accolades these days for just showing up for all the days in one month of school?

    I know this is all rooted in the effort to boost a child's self-esteem, but is it going too far? Should we send the message that all you have to do to be an exemplary student is to show up for one month straight?

    More importantly, should I notify my boss that I am due for special recognition for my perfect attendance at my job in March?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2008 #2
    They give out perfect attendance awards at the end of the year. It seems rather stupid. Shouldn't learning be the ultimate purpose?
  4. Apr 22, 2008 #3
    I think it is pretty ridiculous, sure recognize the kid for trying very hard and doing well but attendence awards seem pretty silly....almost as silly as those stupid bumper stickers.
  5. Apr 23, 2008 #4
    I think schools should teach kids competition and not 'self-esteem' anything. You're worthless until you deomonstrate something good in competition. Welcome to the real world kid.

    Everyone wins! yay!!! = Everyone loses,......... their jobs to china, where there actually is competition.
  6. Apr 23, 2008 #5
    I used to get a perfect attendance ribbon nearly every semester in middle school. It did not work wonders for my popularity with the other kiddies. I would counsel against handing them out. Only OCD parents gain satisfaction from that kind of award.
  7. Apr 23, 2008 #6

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Personally, I think that self-esteem building is over-emphasized. I don't have the specific studies to cite, but I seem to recall that self-esteem ratings are found to be quite high in bullies and prisoners.
  8. Apr 23, 2008 #7
    I think kids should have competition. Sports, science, music, whatever the area. If you're not competing to be the best, there is no drive to be better. Because hey, were all special yayyy!!!! Group hug!!! :rolleyes:
  9. Apr 23, 2008 #8
    Lets not keep score because some kid realized he really sucks and is too lazy to improve. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!
  10. Apr 23, 2008 #9
  11. Apr 23, 2008 #10

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Heh, yes, whats some people call children with high self-esteem, I call spoiled brats. But then again, it was once acceptable, or at least legal, to beat the hell out of a kid as punishment [back when kids were seen and not heard, or else!] so maybe its just a pendulum seeking the center.
  12. Apr 23, 2008 #11
    Too many extremes. People go too far with concepts.
  13. Apr 23, 2008 #12
    *Starts Kicking* I didn't get a trophy!!!!! :cry:
  14. Apr 23, 2008 #13
    Sorry, we gave it to the kid in china.
  15. Apr 23, 2008 #14
  16. Apr 23, 2008 #15
    Schools receive more funding based on their rates of attendance. Somebody on the school board probably worked out that they could distribute various prizes, one being said bumper sticker, to students for attendance, at some low cost that would generate more revenue. I remember at my high school one year they actually handed out Borders gift certificates to those with perfect attendance...
  17. Apr 23, 2008 #16


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    When I was in high-school, you were punished for not attending... detention, extra homework, etc.. The only excuses were illness, family crisis such as a funeral, or weather.
    Public school was a bit different. When I was out with measles, mumps, chicken pox, or whatnot, a classmate would bring each day's lessons to me after school and I would have to complete them for return the next day. That wasn't possible if I was simply snowed in, of course, but I sure had to do the catch-up work once the thaw came.
    On the face of it, this 'perfect attendance' reward seems to punish kids who get sick once in a while through no fault of their own.
  18. Apr 23, 2008 #17
    The more and more I hear about stories of how school was 50-60 years ago, the more it sounds like a detention camp rather than school. Seriously, if you're sick you should be sleeping. Not doing homework that day cause the nuns had a hard on whipping small boys.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook