November 3 2013 – The HuffPost Living Canada
No more honour roll. No more awards ceremonies. While it may only be Calgary’s St. Basil School in the spotlight now, there is little doubt that countless other schools and districts will — or have already — taken active steps to eliminate all evidence that the world is in fact a competitive place, and that performance is variable.
The core of St. Basil’s decision for why it decided to axe these academic recognitions is that it may harm some kids’ self-esteem. As the school’s letter to parents declares, “awards eventually lose their lustre to students who get them, while often hurting the self esteem and pride of those who do not receive a certificate” — an edict, it seems, not based on feedback or input from St. Basil’s own students and parents, but rather on the theory of the day; in this case, controversial education specialist Alfie Kohn’s particular brand of progressive education.