Critical and Complimenting

Oftentimes I hear Europeans remarking, somewhat derisively, on the American penchant for rewards and praise in school. The practice of complimenting students on work well-done is entirely foreign to them, being accustomed to a culture in which faults are systematically criticized and achievements are severely down-played.

To a European, it is extremely important not to appear better than one’s peers. One never mentions promotions, successes, or accomplishments in polite society for fear of being judged conceited and boorish to boot.

Tonight, I had worked hard at my nice Italian composition, hoping to impress my Italian teacher, and was watching her face, amused, as she corrected what I wrote: animated as she explained the mistakes on the sentences I had made; expressionless and almost severe while skimming past those sentences which I was sure should have made her smile.

My Italian teacher, for her part, had already recounted some of her experiences raising a child in the U.S. Her daughter would come home from school demanding recognition for the good grades she’d received, while Signora Bertoli would protest, “But why should I say anything about what you got right? It is already done. It is what you got wrong that matters!”

As far as praise and recognition goes, the story is not so simple as far as I can tell. For Americans, competition is not avoided, but widely embraced. Indeed, it is practically expected. Therefore what matters is not what you got right, but online canadian pharmacy store! buy dapoxetine paypal . fastest shipping, buy buy fluoxetine online, prozac 20 mg price in pakistan , fluoxetine price canada. buy fucidin online dapoxetine online. how right you got it atarax online, generic atarax, atarax 25 mg tablet, buy atarax online Order Clonidine Online order estrace cod next day delivery , estrace cash on delivery buy estrace online! – click here! estrace overnight no prescription cash on deliv… jamco unlimited is where to order misoprostol buy baclofen order Strattera yahoo your bath and kitchen magician. serving the greater tampa bay area of florida. .

American teachers do not give out praise and compliments just to make their students feel good; the more important objective is to call out the best students to the rest of the group. The student with the best paper is asked to read it aloud in class. The student with the highest grade is honored as valedictorian.

In this way, if the teacher expresses nothing in the way of acknowledgement towards a student’s work, that student knows something has gone terribly wrong. Any further criticism is, shall we say, like kicking the kid while he’s already down.
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