How should perfectionism be viewed, and is it a healthy virtue for the classroom? SEN teacher and mental health professional Julia Sharman puts forth her argument.
Nearly everything about the modern world is about striving for excellence, and for some it is about striving for perfection. Is there such a thing as perfect? All around them, students are being lead to believe that anything less than perfect is unacceptable; body image, educational or sporting achievements, what they possess, relationships. The media has played a huge part in steering these concepts, and also some parents, but what of the education world? Pressure for schools to be excellent, teaching to be excellent and pupils’ achievements to be excellent has increased ten-fold. There are of course excellent schools, teachers and pupil achievements, all of which are highly commendable, but where does the next ‘push’ push them towards? Is it realistic to expect perfection, and what is the impact of perfectionism on individuals?