TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 18 2013: I like to suggest a macro-viewpoint from a somewhat wild starting point for student learning. I found a "ranking" of "cleanest countries in the world" from www.watchmojo.com. The cleanest top 10 countries are, starting from the best down; Finland, Norway, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Iceland and Denmark.
    If you look carefully, almost all of them are ranked high also on the list of PISA skills test in 2009. That means the countries using less tests are also doing great job to clean their streets and houses. You might wonder what this have anything with student learning. Let me just say that if they are good at cleaning streets and houses, why couldn't they be good at cleaning house of financial messes and politics as well? haha.
    But seriously, clean habits represent the moral and ethical concept of most of the educated citizens in that country. It means that majority of them ENJOYED working for the society without asking for a payout. Also notice that none of them are currently in a financial mess like the PIIGS or CAF (Cyprus, Argentina and France). On the other side of the coin, the Swedes not only contribute their money to the welfare of their countrymen, they also contribute money from Mr. Nobel for high achievers in physics, chemistry, economics and literature in the whole world. I would say that this can only be done by the HIGHLY and PROPERLY EDUCATED PEOPLE, with compassion, in Sweden. If this is so, then I wish you would agree that it is not quite a far-fetched idea that these people who are good at cleaning their streets and houses may also be good at cleaning their national financial order of their "big house"; country too.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.