As parents or teachers, we are often tempted to criticize students. We do it with the best of intentions. We want them to grow, to be better and to be successful in life. But criticism is not always the best way about to achieve it . In fact, it is possible that criticizing is one of the worst things we can do for them. In this sense we can learn a valuable lesson from the Abu Dhabi Nursery, a very special school of UAE.
Students and elite athletes
This nursery differentiated from the rest of their competitors by putting different methods into practice when it comes to training, and obtaining positive results . His teacher, Pete Caroll, says that he has completely changed his perspective when it comes to addressing players.
Instead of screaming at them in the face what they did wrong, the coach decided that it was more efficient to go directly to the stage of saying what they needed to improve . Caroll believes that in an environment as demanding as elite sport there is no time to lose. Criticism by itself does not contribute anything. Giving advice, showing how something is done, or simply explaining what we want the other person to do makes the process move forward quickly and effectively.
The dire consequences of criticism
But the criticisms are not only inefficient in terms of time and work done. The negative elements that we encounter in our lives tend to leave a deeper and more lasting mark than positive ones. That is to say, a critique will remain in the head of the soccer player, or of the student, during a much longer period than a compliment . This means that the criticized person will tend to go around and be distracted. Too strong or continued criticism can also cause emotional instability and disorders such as anxiety or depression.
Criticism is also bad for the critic
In order to criticize students we need to focus on their people. Be attentive to their actions, their words and their attitudes. This requires a huge expenditure of time and energy that we could put to work in something more productive. But the biggest problem with criticism is that they do not change anything . They do not help the situation to move forward. This results in dissatisfaction and resentment, both for the critic and for the student criticized. Frustration and discomfort close the circle of negativity that we have created, making the days long and unpleasant.
When and how to criticize?
With the above, it may seem that from this moment on, it is forbidden to tell anyone who does not do anything wrong. Nothing is further from reality. To create the education of the future, the important thing is to know how and when to criticize the students .
The criticisms must be reduced to very specific cases in which we can really contribute something. In addition, criticism must be constructive. That is, it must be accompanied by a council , a knowledge, a sample or anything that allows the student to advance in their efforts.
It is also crucial to criticize the work or activity carried out by the student, and not his person . This way we will avoid the negative consequences of which we have spoken. We can tell you that an activity is wrong or that an action is harmful, but we can not tell you that it is worth less as a person to perform that activity or action. Only then will we be able to create an adequate climate in the classroom, motivate the digital natives and lead to work as a team and acquire the knowledge and skills that we want to transmit to them.
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