Posts Tagged Competition vs. Collaboration

Collaboration Increases Learning

Anyone who reads this blog or has read any of my books knows that I advocate collaboration–rather than competition—to increase student learning. A prime reason is that the number of winners in competition is severely restricted, usually to one. This means that competition produces more losers than winners.

A major advancement in learning would be to desist from the nearly imperceptible yet continual demoralization of K-12 students by fostering competition between students as a way to increase learning. (As I also often note, competition is a marvelous motivator to increase performance but is devastating to young people who feel that they never stand in the winner’s circle.) This very significant yet unintended consequence of academic competition contributes to the reduction … >>>


Learning and Collaboration

One day a salesman driving on a two-lane country road got stuck in the ditch. He asked a farmer for help. The farmer hitched up Elmo, the blind mule, to the salesman’s car. The farmer grabbed a switch, snapped it in the air, and yelled, “Go, Sam, go!” Nothing happened. He snapped it again. “Go, Jackson, go!” Still nothing. Then he flicked Elmo. “Go, Elmo, go!” And Elmo pulled the car out of the ditch.

“Hey, what’s with the ‘Sam’ and the ‘Jackson’?” asked the driver.

“Look, if he didn’t think he had any help, he wouldn’t even try!”

We all need help, and this is one reason that collaboration is far more effective in promoting learning than competition. Competition … >>>