The Sunday Newspaper

I always wonder, when people tell these stories, do they invent them to make a point, or is this something that actually happens to them?

As the mother of a child in the French educational system, I was aware of how positive reinforcement and encouragement is frowned on in Europe. “Oh you Americans, always saying, ‘Good boy!’” one of my son’s teachers once told me. “We don’t believe in doing that.”

I can’t imagine anybody taking this tone with me. I just can’t. And they don’t. Even the notoriously rude Russian speakers choose not to engage.

If you see the linked article, though, there’s a valuable insight on how much easier mobility is in the US than in Europe.

One thought on “The Sunday Newspaper

  1. The times I’ve heard comments like that (usually from western europeans) it’s usually more impersonal “In America they…” or maybe “In America, you…” and not the rude tone found in the quote (probably tarted up for the newspaper to make some dumb point). I’ve had totally not rude discussion/debates on the merits of positive vs negative motivations etc

    But Americans in Europe can be weirdly defensive as well, a good friend (largely Irish ancestory) once became really angry at a pretty neutral British TV report that the Irish potato blight might have been brought from the New World. they thought it was an attack on the country…

    Poles are more likely to be overly enthusiastic “In America you encourage students! We don’t do that here, unfortunately” and I end up pointing out the strengths in the Polish system (it does have flaws but I rarely get to talk about them reasonably).


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