Buzzwords abound no less in education than in any other field of social relations. As they gain popularity and slip into everyday speech, they assume the status of common sense. The complexities surrounding their origins and their applications are lost, and they become a lazy lens through which to view social reality-forestalling thought and restricting the practices which flow from them. In popular explanations of girls' mode of participating in schooling, 'self-esteem' has assumed the status of a buzzword. Whatever explanatory power and educational value the concept of self-esteem and its history may have had, they are now in danger of being subverted in the deadening process of popularization over the last decade or so. This collection gathers together the thoughts of a range of specialists in education. Each was asked to consider critically the merits of current thinking on 'self-esteem' in relation to their field of expertise. Each concluded that what is demanded in their particular area is a radical reassessment of the current ways in which we think about self-esteem and its relationship to girls' schooling.