Schools are built for education development, but some people judge that schools’ purposes are just for teaching knowledge and improving intelligence, whereas there are other aspects that affect student development. They are self-concept and self-esteem. Self-concept and self-esteem give contributions for students to achieve as well as possible in school. They also give good influences for students to succeed and give a chance to improve their talent and become optimistic, so improving students’ self-concept and self-esteem in school is important.
Self-concept and self-esteem are important values for student to encourage their learning activities. Self-esteem is positive or negative image of self that can make someone become optimistic if he/she has high self-esteem. Self-concept is a specific evaluation of self such as skills in academic or athletic (Santrock, 2008). High self-concept can encourage high self-esteem because if someone has good talents in some fields and he can improve his skills, he will feel that he has self worth as a human. He can show that his life is meaningful so he will be accepted in social context. Self-concept also related to achievement, in other words their relationship is strong and interdependent, (Choi (2005), as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Students with high self-concept and self-esteem can performance well and they will be able to reach many achievements in school.
Increasing students’ self-concept and self-esteem is not easy, because they always change; decreasing and increasing in students’ transition period; from elementary school to junior high school or senior high school (Twenge and Campbell (2001), as cited in Santrock, 2008). According to Prof. Dr Azizi Bin Yahaya, there are some factors that obstruct students’ self-concept and self esteem. They are negative parenting style, continuous failure, depression, and bad internal self-critics. The obstacles can also occur from ineffective schools which cannot give facilities and good teacher for their students. Unresponsive schools to the needs of students can retard self-concept and self-esteem development (Ferguson & Noguera (2003), as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Low or negative self-concept and self-esteem cause students doing poorly in school, having few friends, having criminal behavior, and having poor mental and health (Santrock, 2008). This is why schools have to increase students’ self-concept and self-esteem.
Schools can do everything to improve students’ self-concept and self-esteem as long as in positive ways. Schools can suggest students to follow extracurricular activities such as school, academic, and non-academic organization to increase their self-concept, because these activities can give good income for their self-concept (Mahoney, Larson, & Eccles (2005) as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). Extracurricular activities can give chances and good environment for students to increase their self-concept and for self-esteem too (Deutsch & Hirsch (2001); Frederick & Eccles (2006), as cited in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). According to Santrock (2008) there are four ways to improve self-esteem and self-concept, they are finding the obstacle to be optimistic and digging self giftedness, giving motivation and good environment, encouraging to accomplish, and enhancing to cope. There are also some other ways from Hadley, Hair, and Moore (2008) to increase students’ self-concept and self-esteem. They are praise students’ achievements, support students’ effort, help students to improve their specific talents, and stop negative comment and feedback. Nevertheless, not only schools that should improve students’ self-concept and self-esteem, but parents also have big tasks to do it because parents have closer relationship with students or child. Oesterreich (2007) suggested some ways to improve self-esteem and self-concept. Parents can help their child feel loveable and capable, be a teacher for their child at home, give opportunities them to learn and explore, and praise child’s good behavior, and create good example for their child.
Santrock, J. W. (2008). Adolescence (12th Ed). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology: Windows on Classroom (8th Ed). NJ: Pearson.
Hadley, A. M., Hair, E. C., & Moore, K. A. (2008). Assessing What Kids Think About Themselves: A Guide to Adolescent Self-Concept For Out-of-School Time Program. Journal Child Trends. www. childtrends.org.
Oesterreich, L. (2007). Understanding Children: Self-Esteem. Washington, DC: Iowa State University.
Yahaya, A. B. ( ). Self-Concept in Educational Psychology. Malaysia. University Technology: Malaysia.
Huitt, W. (2009). Self-concept and self-esteem. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University
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