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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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  • Apr 18 2013: The following quote is from a report by the Smithsonion Institute:
    ".....A 2003 Brookings Institution study suggests that Iain’s experience may be typical of a few children in pressure-cooker schools, but it’s not a widespread problem. Still, a 2004 University of Michigan survey of 2,900 six-to-seventeen year old children found that time spent each week on homework had increased from 2 hours 38 minutes to 3 hours 58 minutes since 1981. And in his 2001 and 2006 reviews of academic studies of homework outcomes, Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, found little correlation between the amount of homework and academic achievement in elementary school (though higher in middle school and high school). Cooper supports the influential ten-minute homework rule, which recommends adding ten daily minutes of homework per grade beginning in first grade, up to a maximum of two hours. Some districts have added no homework on weekends to the formula."
    The important point here is that if the drill, drill, approach is quite inefficient, then the discouraging (boring) effect of it on the students could completely negate its usefulness. Moreover, if the drill is to prepare the students to take tests, there are other ways to prepare them to such tasks.
    I suggest 3 quick tricks:
    1. Try to use speed reading method to shorten the reading time.
    2. Try to train yourself to do the computations (at least several steps at a time, like a chess player) within your mind without writing them down on paper. When you become quite good at this, you will have a bit of advantages over you fellow students when you could finish your test early and have time to review your answers while others still struggle to finish, or even couldn't finish, in time.
    3. Try to find a pattern in every subject/topic, so that comes to mind quickly to be used in a test. For example, there are many gimmicks in math and hidden rules in spelling and grammar that will shorten answer-time.

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