A hype-heavy treatment of a recent study (named vaguely as the “American Freshman Survey,” in the article, but not actually cited or dated… I found a copy of a 2011 report).
While students are much more likely to call themselves gifted in writing abilities, objective test scores actually show that their writing abilities are far less than those of their 1960s counterparts. Also on the decline is the amount of time spent studying, with little more than a third of students saying they study for six or more hours a week compared to almost half of all students claiming the same in the late 1980s. –Mail Online.
Successful people with high self-esteem have a good reason to esteem themselves highly — they’re successful people.
We’re confusing causation and correlation if we start out with the high self esteem first, rather than encouraging students to choose their goals carefully and be willing to work hard for those goals, and praising students when they can point to the concrete progress they’ve made towards those goals.