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Enhancing self-esteem development in early elementary school

23 July 1996


The purpose of the study was to determine, through interview and observation, what methods and techniques could be used by teachers to help enhance the development of positive self-esteem in early elementary school children. In addition, characteristics of children with low self-esteem and high self-esteem were identified in order to help teachers recognize students who especially need assistance.

This research paper was based on a review of relevant literature, interviews with four first grade or first-second blend teachers, and classroom observations at the same school. This particular public school is located in a predominantly white, middle-class neighborhood.

The findings identified at least five elements that contribute to a child's positive self-esteem. Those elements included providing an environment where it is safe to take risks and it is acceptable to make mistakes. Also, children need to feel like they are making real contributions to the group, they need encouragement, and they need to be able to work cooperatively together.


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