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Should the concept of competition be eliminated from schools?

Recently I've learned about Finland's educational system. Eliminating the sense of competition between students. No standardized test until they reach the age of 16. The least number of school hours in the world and the best resutls in the standardized tests.
I, as a student myself, I'd see it as a solution to self-esteem issues when it comes to grades and trust in abilities. I get As but I've been wondering how well other students would do if there was no pressure about tests and gradual, self-understanding would do help them achieve what we deserve as a result from education.

Please give your opinion in terms of school experience, and if you're from Finland (or studied there in that system) please don't doubt in sharing.

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  • Mar 31 2013: No NO NOOOOOO! sorry but just because finland doesn't have as many SAT's doesn't mean it gets rid of competition the whole world runs off of competitiveness and the reason america's school are some of the worst in the world is because we care to much about the tests and we remove competitiveness by making sure no one feels secluded or different which is a terrible thing to do because nobody is the same some people ARE smarter/better than others and competitiveness produces better people and makes sure the people who aren't better go where they should this is proved by simply looking at how the world works and why it works
    • Apr 4 2013: Charles,
      I have a little different opinion about what you said. First, for your idea of "... the reason america's school are some of the worst in the world is because we care to much about the tests and we remove competitiveness by making sure no one feels secluded or different which is a terrible thing to do" seems a little off the topic of this discussion. Like Amanda(Dobson) said "Each student has a different learning style and ability" , so any "simple tests"are not the real competition meant by Amanda(Obando).
      Second, in ".. because nobody is the same some people ARE smarter/better than others and competitiveness produces better people", This argument is not applicable to students who have different aptitudes or interests. Some students may be good in math or science, others maybe in art or music,and others may be in speech or logic. For example, a math whiz may not be a good lawyer to be able to present a good argument before a judge/jury because he is not necessarily a good speaker. So your argument of "some are smarter" is a little simplistic.
      The 3rd point in " ..and makes sure the people who aren't better go where they should this is proved by simply looking at how the world works and why it works" is a little dangerous even. For instance, Adolf Hitler is certainly "smart" in tests or competition in "political organization and speech making". IT WORKED FOR HIM TO MAKE THE LARGEST WAR IN HISTORY.and before his defeat, HE SENT THE JEWS WHO AREN'T BETTER (BY HIS DEFINITION) GO WHERE THEY SHOULD. I wouldn't characterize this historical event as how the world works and why it works.
      Anyway what most of us said here are not that we advocate to rid the competition entirely, but to hold down the effort spent on it. However, it is impossible to teach individualized study by the teacher(s) alone, thus the self-motivation by the students guided by the teacher(s) is probably the best approach. Do you agree?
      • Apr 5 2013: if everyone is different why don't we teach everyone different? there's a reason if you didn't know but, having a standardized test IS a good thing it accurately portrays how your skills reflect with what the rest of the world demands and if you come short even if you are really good at something else you still fall short of the rest of the world's conpetition for the best, competition gives drive and direction and if we have more of it in the direction of knowledge that the real world uses of it we will have an educated furture. Now, have saying that it is also known that having school focusing on just the test scores or funding schools off SAT scored makes real knowledge for the students less i believe we should have just one SAT an ban schools from focusing on it until junior or senior year but still grade it highly.

        And Ok??? i don't know where that hitler stuff came from? you know that isn't what i meant. People who have no education or a very poor education be it thier fault by laziness or genetics should never be given jobs that are over thier capabilities. Also vise versa a Extreemly hardworking or brilliant person should not have thier talents wasted by working under.

        Yes self motivation is good but, requires dicipline and maturity schools must highly motivate young children until they can properly motivate themselves. Be this by competition or pain (mental or physical)
        • Apr 6 2013: First of all, when you said that competition leads to how the world works and why it works, this must mean the competition among adults. Then Hitler must be quite good in his competition in his election campaign to be elected to be the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany. So I said that he was a competitive winner but, unfortunately not a good leader. If one thinks carefully, there are really very few competition that one can classify them as "earth shaking" or the world depends on such event, or even greatly benefited from it. Certain achievement in athletic competition might elevate the prestige of certain country, but not for the whole world, because if there are winners, then there must be losers as well. And if we extend the competition in nuclear armament among nations like the situation we are in currently, then it is VERY BAD for the world too.
          The purpose of competition among school children is likely to prepare them to be good workers and good competitors for their adulthood. Your view in "...self motivation.. requires discipline and maturity schools must highly motivate young children until they can motivate themselves" sounds like the talk of General Powell. Instead of arguing about this point, why don't we ask Amanda or any one from Finland to find out from the policy makers there as to their reason why, in justifying their rule for omitting tests of school children before the age 16. If their purpose is to avoid the time and effort wasted on the preparation of a test which may or may not what the children are interested in, then this might also discourage some to quit the school altogether. Even though most of these tests are the basic skills for children, but believe me, certain children are distracted not because they couldn't learn these, but because they think they could've learned the skills by themselves in much less time than following along the pace with the mass of their classmates.
          You are still entitled to your opinion, but we won't resolve it here.
      • Apr 6 2013: once again with the nazis nothing i'm saying or even slightly implying has to do with the nazi's in any way so please stop using them as a result for competitiveness because the world IS competitive it's what makes it constantly improve and better.Also we didi have a competition with nuclear weapons it's called the cold war we survived it we know how to work with it. and i don't get what you mean by the finland part? are you implying they have none to very little competition? and if they are finding it easy they should compete to be the best of the smartest there i agree with you on that

        and hahaha yeah i guess so we could always fight about it ya know?
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      Apr 4 2013: So, we focus on competitive tests to give out the scholastic goodies. And that competition leads to cheating on test, harassment of teachers to get better grades, computer hacking... the list of padding grades is endless, and no real thought as to the education. I have to agree with all those who are concerned with education. The implication is that each student is given the tools he needs to be a successful adult. The current system is about as meaningful at giving highest grades to the tallest, most attractive children. It would seem that American schools are more interested in nutrition, social interaction, political correctness, amoral focus and if the student gets a little knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic on the side, well good for him.
      • Apr 5 2013: we should have one SAT and promote high competition with strict penalties as always for cheating competition is what the world lives off of i think schools should have it.

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