We sometimes compare ourselves to others. Occasionally we feel superior to a neighbor, and often jealous to another. Being competitive is inevitable, isn’t it? It is one of the substantial questions in human society.
Even if it is admitted, some people dislike making children act competitively. In school, pupils are encouraged to participate in sports and other competitive events. Some children seem not willing to defeat classmates.
The Guardian: So who says competition in the classroom is inevitable?
Alfie Kohn is one of the researchers who have a sceptic stance to the competitive way of education. He described in his book that we compete just because we were taught to do so. He also claims that contextual thought is essential in teaching place, criticizing presenting knowledge simply.
Wikipedia: Alfie Kohn
Indeed, competitive way of teaching is recently doubtfully argued. Traditionally, the competition was deemed as the most constructive way for maximizing performance. However, some recent studies suggested that people in competitive environment tended to be keen to be shortsighted, and they are never motivated to work in a longitudinal way. Instead, workers in corroborative atmosphere became honest, and achieved the best performance at last.
Acknowledging this fact, it seems no use to encourage competition excessively. However, human, as well as other mammals are very sensitive to be fair. A monkey in an experimental setting gets anger when he feels being discriminated rather than being simply abused. It suggests that we strongly expect we should be all equal. This equality never means that we hope to be equally treated finally, but equally, have a chance to be fairly treated. We tend to consider efforts should be rewarded.
Considering it, the absolute equality cannot be achieved. The history of many communist nations suggests the difficulty of providing equality. Therefore, I believe competition is inevitable in our society to some extent. In school, competition will raise children’s performance. The issue is competition itself is not the goal at all.