I have an extended lesson plan in my book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves, designed to help students develop a little more personal responsibility and not blame others as often times as many do — I suspect we’ve all heard the comments “He made me do it” or “It’s your fault.”

A new related study was just published today, and I thought I’d use it as an excuse to bring together a few previous posts I’ve written about the topic.

Of course, students aren’t the only ones who can fall into the “blame game.” I’ve included a few posts here that might relate to the school reform debate.  This is not to say, however, that it’s never okay to place blame where it’s appropriate.  It’s just that I think we all tend to lead more with blaming instead of having blame come out of introspection, reflection and analysis.

Feel free to suggest additional resources. When you go to some of my posts, please be sure to check out the comments.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Helping Students Learn The Concept Of Not Blaming Others:


Can Blaming Others Make People Sick? is the headline of the article on today’s new study. Here’s an excerpt I’ll certainly be adding to my lesson:

Unlike regret, which is about self-blame and a case of “woulda, coulda, shoulda,” acrimony points the finger elsewhere — laying the blame for failure on external causes. “When harboured for a long time,” says Wrosch, “bitterness may forecast patterns of biological dysregulation (a physiological impairment that can affect metabolism, immune response or organ function) and physical disease.”

Creating A Lesson On “Blaming Others” & Need Your Help

My Personal Responsibility Lesson For This Friday

Looking For Movie/TV Scenes Showing People Taking Personal Responsibility

How I’ll Use Part Of The President’s Kalamazoo Speech

Here’s a nice comic strip on blame — suitable for students or for thinking about school reform:

What Does A Broken Escalator Have To Do With A Lesson On Personal Responsibility?

“Secret Ingredient for Success”

LeBron James On Taking Personality Responsiblity

Two Good Tools To Help Students Learn About Taking Responsibility

Kris Richard on Richard Sherman’s blowup: I’m responsible

This video is an example of how President Obama handling taking responsibility.

WATCH: I’m responsible for Real Madrid’s poor form – Zidane



Teachers Have Got To Stop Blaming Parents is a post I’ve written.

I’ve written about Ruby Payne, who blames low-income families for all sorts of problems.

I’ve written several posts on how people are blaming teachers a lot:

Did You Know That THE Key To Saving American Education Is Firing Bad Teachers?

What Our Superintendent Says About “Waiting For ‘Superman’”

Schools would be great if it weren’t for the kids is a great piece by Alfie Kohn, who responds to Robert Samuelson’s weird column in Newsweek blaming the problems of schools on….students.

McREL Blog has a good summary and commentary on a report on who’s to blame for dropouts. The post is called Addressing High School Dropout: Taking a Look Inward. In the report, a lot of people are blaming someone else for the problem — except for one group. I’d encourage you to read the entire post. Here’s a quote:

“Here’s what’s interesting, though—according to the “ Silent Epidemic” report, most students (70%) do actually blame themselves, saying they could graduate if they had tried harder. Further, the report informs us that “while most dropouts blame themselves for failing to graduate, there are things they say schools can do to help them finish.”

Thus, it appears that everyone else seems to be blaming someone else, except the kids who drop out. What should that tell us?

Our dropout crisis will persist until each of us takes a look at those fingers pointing back at us, and identify our own culpability in our nation’s dropout crisis.

Change will require us to be introspective and acknowledge our own shortcomings. Once we do that, then we might be able to collaborate to present viable solutions to address high school dropout.”

Repairing a Culture of Blame is by David B. Cohen.

Can Blaming Others Make People Sick? is a report on an interesting study that finds “… bitterness may result in global feelings of anger and hostility that, when strong enough, could affect a person’s physical health.”

Using A Lesson On Cognitive Dissonance To Help Students Learn To Take Responsibility

The Most Important Four Words a Leader Can Say is by Daniel Coyle.

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