• Anna Amby Ubbesen
  • Mette Nyborg Pandi
4. semester, Psykologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The master thesis investigates the experience of teachers, regarding the im-portance of children’s self-esteem in the primary school as well as how the teach-ers work with children’s self-esteem. The report also addresses relevant questions hereabout. These questions focus on the way some dominating understandings of self might cast light on the self-concept, as well as whether teachers regard chil-dren’s self-esteem as part of their responsibility of well-rounded development. This thesis concludes that the teachers do not experience self-esteem in the psy-chological sense, for instance feeling sufficient, as being particularly important in school. Self-esteem apparently only becomes important when a student has low self-esteem. According to the report, it is much more important to the teachers that the students are happy and thriving. The teachers attribute self-esteem and overall happiness largely to the state of the class community and social climate. There-fore, the teachers automatically enforce the self-esteem of the children when they focus their efforts on improving the social climate of the class. This happens as self and self-esteem develops in accordance to the outside world and the social situations around a person rather than from something within oneself, according to central theories on the subject. The teachers work on self-worth though a safe, inclusive class community, a good student-teacher relation and though praise. During the study it began to seem as though the teachers did not give as much praise as they believe they did themselves. Furthermore, the teachers explain that they are pressed for time, as they have many different work-related tasks.
The initial curiosity regarding the project stems from an impression that self-esteem seems to be frequently discussed in the public debate and an experi-enced demand from teachers, children and parents seeking knowledge of the sub-ject. Incidentally the school system is also currently at a political intersection, where after a reform in 2013 a much greater value has been placed on academics, with personal and social development having fallen by the wayside. This occurred even though student counseling and welfare-surveys are still prevalent. In the at-tempt to understand whether self-esteem is a subject which the teachers experi-ence as impactful and to understand how the teachers work with it, the study ap-plied a theoretical and empirical investigation. The study has an existential phe-nomenological-hermeneutic theory of science as the frame of reference. Theoreti-cally it is based in the self-selfobject theory of Jan Tønnesvang, the critical view of the self of Svend Brinkmann as well as the understanding of self by Georg W. F. Hegel, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Michel Foucault. Furthermore, we have drawn on the theories of self from Susan Harter, Christopher Mruk, Seymour Ep-stein and Karen Wistoft.
The empirical investigation assumes a triangulated design with two partic-ipants. The design contains an introductory participant observation and a semi-structured interview followed by an observation. The empirical material will then be analyzed based on the interpretation levels of Steiner Kvale and Svend Brink-mann. This includes a self-understanding level, a critical common-sense level and a theoretical reading. Based on this the thesis conclude that the teachers do not consider self-esteem, at least in the psychological sense, of significant importance in the school. Furthermore, the paper concludes that the teachers through their work support the growth of a healthy self-esteem. Additionally the study con-cludes there sometimes seems to be a dissonance between what teachers claim to do, and what they actually do, when it comes to giving praise. This could largely be explained by the time-pressure placed on the teachers.
After this the thesis focuses on the methodical, ethical and scientific reflec-tions that have arisen in the process. In particular, the investigation do not fully make use of the triangulated design, that ethics is a continuous part of a research process and the problematic element of the co-constructed nature by the qualita-tive research. Finally, the thesis discusses why self-esteem was not as important to the teachers as it was first assumed. Here the political and educational crossroad is outlined with an outcome-oriented approach and a culture-oriented approach.

Udgivelsesdato12 jun. 2018
Antal sider125
ID: 280765046