Developing a healthy dose of unconfidence can be helpful in unlearning. Ironically, one of the things many U.S. students must unlearn is their high level confidence in their math and science scores.
Did you know that although U.S. students have some of the lowest scores in math and science, they consistently rank highest in how confident they are about their math and science skills. (Students in Singapore — who possess the highest scores — however have some of the lowest levels of confidence in their math and science ability).
I'm all for self-esteem but high confidence can work as a serious determent to improvement. In other words, the American student (who desperately needs to improve his or her math skills) doesn't think such action is necessary because they are overly confident in their ability, while the Singapore student (who is already doing well) continues to push ahead and improve because she believes she is behind her international peers.