In this book, Bergeron demonstrates the negative emotional and pedagogical repercussions that result from American educators’ embrace of self-esteem and the dogma surrounding its acceptance. Critically interpreting the meaning of self-esteem in education, he challenges "common sense" assumptions surrounding this notion and questions the historical, political, philosophical, and pedagogical forces that have shaped this psychological construct in education. Interrogating the pedagogical practices linked to student empowerment, self-determination, and social agency in the classroom, Bergeron discusses the ways in which the promise of self-esteem has backfired, particularly for marginalized and impoverished students.
1. Self-Esteem as Common Sense 2. The History and Politics of Self-Esteem 3. Self-Esteem and its Colonizing Impact 4. Self-Esteem Curriculum as Epistimicides 5. An Act of Armed Love: Curriculum for Social Agency, Empowerment, and Self-Determination