Why competition is a good thing (and we need more of it in schools)

The Quirky Teacher

Nutshell: we could co-opt our innate need to compare and compete and, to a certain extent, have a collective ‘enemy’ for the purpose of enhancing educational outcomes.

I loved studying ecology at uni. It all made so much sense to me when all the jigsaw pieces of life seemed to slot into place: very satisfying! However, the lasting impression is that just as that kid from Sixth Sense saw dead people everywhere, I see ecosystems everywhere. I just can’t help it. A key factor in ecology is the importance of competition in enhancing a species’ chance of success and humans are surely included in this. In fact, it is generally accepted that humans are competitive and you don’t need to search for too long in order to find evidence of this. Amusing examples of how we compete, sometimes just inside our own heads, are:

  • When very young, with siblings in…

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