The Danger of Competition.

Essay by aznlov3lyang3l May 2003

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Schools vary greatly in their competitive natures. Sixty-three percent of the students from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, for example, feel their classmates are extremely competitive, and most say they study very hard. On the opposite end, Yale University School of Medicine has a unique evaluation system in which there are no grades. This system produces an extremely non-competitive atmosphere. It is up to us to decide whether competition is healthy or unhealthy. However, there is a difference between trying to do our best and trying to do better than everyone else. There's nothing wrong with setting high goals and working to achieve them, but strong competitive feelings often produce unnecessary stress and anxiety which can get in the way of success. Even worse, competition can also cause death or even create serious problems in our society.

Competitive games are detrimental to children's learning. A warm, friendly, relaxed, and safe environment is the best environment to encourage children to acquire language.

Yes, competitive games can motivate able children, but they also discourage those with less ability. In the classrooms, children are eager to play games, but once a child feels there is no chance of winning, he or she "switches off". If the child begins to mess around with the game equipment (card, dice, etc) or use it in a laborious or exaggerated fashion, then that is indication that the child is not focused on the activity. And if the child is not focused, then the value of the activity is nil. However, the desire to win games can also make children much more interested in learning. In the worst cases, victory in games can become a horrible one-upmanship. English is not enjoyed for its own sake but becomes a means to put down others. In his essay, "Stop...