It is not about power or control, but about being equal, yet unique, and acknowledging the intrinsic value of each human being. Colleagues working within multi-academy trusts (MATs) know this only too well, but for schools outside of MATs, or network partnerships, the spectre of competition looms large and prevents authentic collaboration from taking place. So how can we foster collaboration in our classrooms and schools? We need to be a team to really grow as learners and players. Individuals read teaching journals and join forums to equip themselves to do well among colleagues; they enter competitions and join professional bodies to increase their chances of promotion or employment; they attend workshops and introduce new methods of teaching to rise up the feedback league table; … It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff. Collaboration, How Effective Is Online Learning? And for the self- image the educational psychology and research have long time been telling us how devastating comparing your personal attributes can be for the developing sense of self – and we still don’t get it?? Students, while being the same age, have many more qualities that make them individual than those making them alike. A February Tweet from DC’s Jefferson Academy in response to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s comments after visiting their public school. I’m fiercely competitive; I always have been. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! We need to be a team to really grow as learners and players. Driven to achieve results through fear 2. As adult learners in a building, there are still uncomfortable levels of competition, whether it’s about evaluations or program assignments or maybe even likeability among our students. Unfortunately some students have learned the negative attention being the only option available for them. Having played many sports when I was a student, often as the only girl on an all-boys team, I clearly understood the level of play I needed to be at if I didn’t want to be made fun of or ostracized by my teammates. Cooperative learning is the diversity statement coming alive in the classroom. Find the right people who will lift you up and build it out and then make it happen. Motivation for Learning: Competition Vs. It’s okay to lean on each other for help and to switch roles and share responsibility, but all of that takes practice. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Collaboration and cooperation are words in English language that have very similar meanings. Cooperation is about sharing ideas and learning constructively from each other. Competition is About Feeding the Ego While Collaboration is About Pulling Strengths Together. Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Mandatory for Students? Collaboration is the “mutual engagement of participants in a coordinated effort to solve a problem together.” Collaborative interactions are characterized by shared goals, symmetry of structure, and a high degree of negotiation, interactivity, and interdependence. Competition didn’t only come out on the field, it came out in the classroom too. As a result, the keener the competition, the higher the output among students. In competition there are always winners and losers. The desire to one-up each other by constantly raising the bar has been the driving force behind much of humanity’s rapid development. Competition breeds production. A strong idea that propels many of us to motivate in real ways. The two most harmful phenomena occurring while mixing competition and education are the externalization of the learning motivation and the distorted self-image of students. Each institution of higher education should define incentives for implementing collaborative initiatives that … Against the claim that market competition is incompatible with social cooperation, defenders of free enterprise rightly point out that that competition and cooperation are actually quite compatible. Education: Competition vs Collaboration Nigel Coutts October 11, 2015 In a time where much of the debate around education is linked to performance on national and international assessments such as PISA, TIMMS, PIRLS and in Australia, NAPLAN combined with calls for market-driven reforms there is a danger that a climate of competition between schools and systems will grow. After all, what we learn in childhood, we take into adult life. Communities can be designed to elicit either of these behaviors, depending on the desired outcome. Education is filled with competition, from the inherent comparison of grades to the incidental playground games. Equitable education simply means that every student gets the support and challenges what s/he needs – not what the other students need. Kohn (1987) has explored several areas of education and has found that with regards to competition, Americans held two opinions. ... not only in further education and work – but also their personal lives. And it’s important to note a few things about competition. Discover the real difference in collaborative and cooperative learning and how can they be used effectively in the classroom. And as human beings we need that attention – we need others to acknowledge our existence. Not all collaborative efforts will be a success, especially not at first. group of people come together and work on a project in support of a shared objective Be transparent. These two themes have their own advantages and disadvantages but in general co-operation is more accepted by public. Nowadays one of the common discussions in children education is competition and co-operation roles. What the Research Does and Doesn't Tell Us, 'My Online Learning Experience as a Student Is Not so Good'. Sounds like something we would want to see more of in the classroom. Competition VS. First, make certain all competitive contexts are healthy as defined in Figure 18.b. But we’ve been speaking as though collaboration and competition are mutually exclusive, and they’re not. In addition to the constant daily barrage of demoralizing contempt (or blatant patronizing) they receive, teachers are also being asked to do more now than they ever have. Show them the outcomes of collaborative efforts versus individual ones. The key to a successful team is the ability to complement one another based on the skills and competencies within the team. Don’t assume that kids know how to collaborate. Model it with other teachers. Collaboration here isn’t about ‘leveling the playing field’ – it’s about helping each rep be their best and work toward a common goal. 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But, in some cases, this is the best action strategy. But, overall, this is … Always build time in the experience for practice. Explicitly teach them how. See Emma Brown’s related Washington Post story here . Cooperation is about doing things together – not because we are told to do so, but because it makes sense. Embracing collaboration over competition is more than just … The secret is to understand how equality doesn’t mean that resources and outcomes should be standardized. Please share. Competition has always been a way to help children to improve their abilities in education; however it is not always beneficial to them. […] discussion forums could also promote cooperation between student instead of competition, with expected general positive effect on learning. Competition is about using power over others, in one way or other. Another theory views competition as opposed to collaboration and, therefore, as an evil element in culture that should be curtailed. Not those of someone else. than their classmates in situations where cooperation would have been much easier and more beneficial choice. We are so much better together. When it comes to competition, people are: 1. Each of us offers a wealth of experience and knowledge, but not without deficit. Interactions If we truly want to change the world (and/or education), we have to work together; it’s just too big of a project for any one person to take on alone. Extrinsic learning motivation focuses on tangible rewards and makes students perform tasks instead of trying to deep learn the content, because only intrinsic learning motivation makes learning itself fun and rewarding. Traditionally, parents and teachers alike have believed that exposing children to harsh competition early on will prepare them for competition in adulthood. Collaboration Is the New Competition ... and a failing education system. And that collaboration can be between students, teachers, and even schools. I’m not suggesting, however, that everyone should get a trophy... that is a matter for another post. In fact, there are many learners of English language who mistakenly used these words interchangeably as if they were synonyms. Therefore this paper ‘grasps the nettle’: it focuses in on what competition in the VCS means, yet explores the meaning of collaboration also - one cannot be effectively addressed in isolation from the other. But some go further and claim that competition and cooperation are the same thing, which makes it hard to explain exactly how these concepts do correctly relate to each other. This is manifested not only in high individual averages, but in overall high class averages. It is about helping each other and feeling compassion. One critical piece to increasing a student's academic self-identity is in … High-Power Workstation Solutions for Remote Learning, The Not-So-Secret Solution to Get Over 90% of Your Students Reading Proficiently By 3rd Grade. Collaboration in Business. Competition. – La flûte nomade. The study found that this kind of collaborative competition, when it lasted from three to five years, had more than a 50% chance of mutually reducing company costs. Even while it is just an attempt to get the teacher’s attention with disruptive behavior! In fact, Alfie Kohn has been saying it for years: “One after another, researchers across the country have concluded that children do not learn better when education is transformed into a competitive struggle. David Mizne, author on the 15five blog, analyzes how people operate in collaborative or competitive settings. Collaboration vs Cooperation . We must develop environments that prize people working together over ones that promote a winner. The use of technological objects can also be specially attractive to young […]. Once we understand that, we can begin to think about different ways to go beyond one organization and impact the entire social sector. If your organization encourages individual performance by depending heavily on rewarding productive or profitable behavior, you could be promoting a competitive culture. Prompted to perform beyond minimum requirements 3. The Educator's Room is a daily website dedicated to showing that teachers are the experts in education. When we work with each other, our natural strengths have an opportunity to be challenged and improved and our deficits have the chance to be lessened. I have seen many students compete to be faster, better, taller, smarter, more popular, etc. Developing Academic Heroes. Often teacher is the one who has control, and sets up a competition, and then acts as a judge, deciding who is the best – a common classroom situation where points are given for various behaviours/performances/tasks/answers or taken away for misbehaviour. Finding competition in surprising situations happens when we start to pay close attention to reasons for doing certain things! With collaboration, the strengths of team members are more important than the capabilities of an individual. One theory claims that, since competition is part of every culture and since education should transmit culture, it is necessary to incorporate competition into education to help children get used to it in later life. The two most harmful phenomena occurring while mixing competition and education are the externalization of the learning motivation and the distorted self-image of students. Rather, Finland emphasizes collaboration over competition. Schools work best when given the opportunity to collaborate with others, but this must operate in a framework of trust. Teaching school heads Chris Wheatley and Paul Stone reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly of collaboration in education. It doesn’t have to be on an individual level – it can be on a group … We have, and will continue to have that insatiable hunger to distinguish ourselves as somehow special or superior to those around us. In the modern world, competition is infused to all areas of our lives: work, sports (of course), advertisements, entertainment, and relationships, even education – the sad example of wording an educational goal being “Race to the Top.”. Encour… This is often the environment of sales departments. To accomplish “competition education,” we incorporate three factors. Finding competition in surprising situations happens when we start to pay close attention to reasons for doing certain things! Competition versus collaboration in STEM education. It is also about building better future together by setting mutual goals. Another everyday example is when a student who feels powerful challenges others into competition, in hopes of gaining (more) power/admiration (we have all read Lord of the Flies, right?). It is supporting each other and understanding that everyone has different needs. After all, learning and sports, although exhibiting some elements of friendly competition, are really about collaboration. Learn how your comment data is processed. Teachers Have Been Betrayed…Now is the Time to Vote, MOOCs outside and inside the classroom ? Competition vs collaboration: are schools working together enough? Shouldn’t we try to educate every child? If you want to create a culture that will produce breakthrough results, collaboration trumps competition by a long shot. The first opinion being the ‘enthusiastic support’ presumes that the more children are engaged in rivalry, the better it is since competition foster character and breeds excellence. Some of you will say that competition harms learning. The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications. It takes work to be able to find success in this model because it so different from a competition model. These are problematic for both losers and winners. Competition and collaboration are integrally linked - two sides of a coin, though the contentious side for VCOs is competition2. What’s one experience you have had that was more successful because you collaborated instead of working alone? Competition Vs. Competition is good in the sense that it discourages complacency and raises students’ consciousness of the value of good grades. “Ha! If you are interested in submitting a piece for publication, please send a draft to firstname.lastname@example.org. Being overly competitive can lead to negative behavior, but that doesn't mean competition itself is entirely bad. We live in a culture that values winning. In many cases, it can be highly motivating for all parties (here, professional sports show the value of competition very clearly). While studying to become a teacher in Finland, the answer was very clear: every student has a subjective right to learn and to be measured against her/his own previous achievements. The growth mindset (concept borrowed from Carol Dweck) is equally important for all students, because it builds grounds for life-long learning. How does this build the learning motivation? ©2020 Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. Offer opportunities in class for students to. Those days when exams were returned or projects handed out, all of us would gather to see who won the prize of the highest score. According to Sweeney, hallmarks of a competitive culture in a… Competition has its place, but collaboration is one of the most underutilized opportunities for institutional effectiveness and student success. However, many researchers have found that encouraging cooperation in the classroom actually leads to greater, more lasting achievement among students. Dr. Kagan is the author of the book Cooperative Learning, and readily admits that he favors collaboration over competition. Fostering cooperation and collegiality in the classroom enables students to grow and learn in their own pace and support each other in individual challenges. So if you have a great idea, share it. We all have diverse skills and needs, because that’s what life is made of – individuality. Eagerly, I would flip to the back page and promptly turn around to my friend Seth to see what he got. Why should I compete with someone else, if our starting points were different? 2. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Oh, and there's that little thing about how they aren't even competing. These aren’t popular things to admit, but they surely exist, the same way they do with our students. Very fair, I think. Studies into cooperative learning have shown that working in small groups toward a c… We are truly better together. The author starts by setting the scene “At a conceptual level, there are two modes of engagement by participants in a community: collaboration and competition. I beat you by one point AGAIN!”. Looking back on this experience, I’m a little embarassed. Collaborative vs. cooperative learning. The Educator's Room, LLC ™ is dedicated to improving education by recognizing that real experts, classroom teachers, are needed at the table of education reform. But can we really afford to have losers while making choices about education? Collaboration helps scope the competition and redefine the units of competition. Competition usually revolves around power and/or control, no matter whether it is initiated by the students or the teacher. Collaboration If you’ve ever watched a marching band perform, then you know that they have precision in their step and move as a unit to create intricate designs on the field. If we create unhealthy contexts (e.g., we get excited about or give meaningful rewards to the winners or we place a great deal of emphasis on the outcome as important) we create confusing messages and undermine results. If Dr. Rimm advocates for healthy competition to motivate students, Dr. Spencer Kagan advocates for the benefits of a collaborative classroom. That being said, collaboration is really the quality we must aspire to. Opinion: Why Are You Worried About Socialism In My Class? We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the all new EdWeek.org. Competition Defeats Complacency. New content, new pages, new websites, new features, new products. So instead of competing who gets to go first for recess, the class could work together to make everything and everybody ready for it – this builds accountability too, when students help each other. In one instance, I talked to a team and showed them how … Sure, there's a bit of a diss on the U.S. in there. Focusing on differences and supplementing those creates much better foundation for learning than highlighting superficial similarities and making ranking lists of those with competition. Copyright 2016 The Educators Room | Designed by. These are problematic for both losers and winners. “Competitive environments are usually characterised by [having] winners and losers and [a] reward or lack of reward,” says Terence Sweeney, a business author, consultant, and speaker who focuses on culture within organizations. First, it’s important to examine competition and collaboration in the context of individuals, teams, and work environments. 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