Imagine the teacher standing in front of the class and asking a question. Six to ten children strain in their seats and with their hands in the teachers face, eager to be called on and show how smart they are. Several others sit quietly with eyes averted, trying to become invisible.
When the teacher calls on only one youngster, you can almost hear sounds of disappointment and can see looks of dismay on the faces of the eager students who missed a chance to get the teacher’s approval. You also see relief on the faces of the others who did not know the answer. The game is fiercely competitive and the stakes are high because the kids are competing for the love and approval of one or two or three most important people in their world.
In addition, this teaching process of competition guarantees that the children will not learn to like each other. If you were competing for the teacher’s attention and someone else was called upon, you probably would hope that the other person would make a mistake so that you would have a chance to display your knowledge.
In addition, if you were to be called upon and failed, or if you didn’t even raise your hand to compete, you may have envied or resented your classmates who knew the answer. Children who fail in this system become jealous and resentful of others, thinking of the others as teachers’ pets. The successful students often hold the unsuccessful children in negative terms, thinking of them as dumb or stupid.
This competitive process does not encourage anyone to look happily upon fellow students. A much more effective approach than competition is collaboration and is demonstrated in Discipline Online.