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 … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Just yesterday I sat listening, mouth wide open, as my dentist and his assistant chatted and worked on my teeth. At one point their conversation turned to family and they updated each other on the lives of their respective children. The dental assistant asked how the dentist’s son, a first year of Med student, was doing. Since the boy had always been a good student, she wondered if he was still getting good grades. The dentist said, “I really don’t know. They don’t give grades anymore. The only mark Med students receive is Pass or Fail.”
When she expressed surprise, he went on to explain further. He said that things were much different now than when he himself had attended
… >>> READ MORE >>> →
Competition increases performance but hinders much learning.
One needs to look no further than the business or sports section of any newspaper to see the pervasiveness of competition. There is no doubt that competition increases performance. Athletic teams, bands, and other performing groups practice for hours spurred on by the competitive spirit. Fair competition is valuable and can be lots of fun. Competition in classrooms, however, is fun for the winner but is often unfair for the others because the same children usually win, making it uninvolving and dull for others.
If a student rarely finds himself in the winner’s circle, then competitive approaches kill the drive for learning. Think of it this way. People compete because they want … >>> READ MORE >>> →
I am very new to the Discipline without Stress mailring. I’ll be a 2nd year teacher this coming school year and will be implementing this system in my classroom. I did have a concern about grades. Would you please review Dr. Marshall’s views on grades and how they are related to competition? If he discourages grades, how would a teacher handle that in his/her classroom, given the requirements for grades and report cards, etc. from the school administration and parents?
Dr. Marshall has never suggested that academic grades not be given. Grading is a mandatory part of our teaching job.
He does point out that competition is counterproductive when it comes to learning.
For further information, here … >>> READ MORE >>> →
Efforts to promote learning (educational reform) have been headline news for many years. If you reflect on the number of reforms attempted in the United States in the last thirty years, you would need many fingers to count them. Then if you reflected on how many of these attempts to improve education are extant, you would be hard pressed to need any fingers.
W. Edwards Deming, the man who brought the meaning of quality as “continuous improvement” to the world, often stated, “ninety-six percent of the problem lies in the SYSTEM, not in the employees.”
Following are two examples where the educational SYSTEM uses unproductive approaches.
The first: Educators talk about “motivating students” because of the apathy towards learning so … >>> READ MORE >>> →