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No Contest: The Case Against Competition Kindle Edition
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No Contest stands as the definitive critique of competition. Contrary to accepted wisdom, competition is not basic to human nature; it poisons our relationships and holds us back from doing our best. In this new edition, Alfie Kohn argues that the race to win turns all of us into losers.
Argues that competition is inherently destructive and that competitive behavior is culturally induced, counter-productive, and causes anxiety, selfishness, self-doubt, and poor communication.
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am 7. Dezember 1997
Alfie Kohn's book "No Contest: The Case Against Competition" articulates much of what I've always felt and knew to be true about competition, both in the economic sphere, in our personal lives and wherever the twain shall meet. Competition has ruined many more lives than it has benefitted. Even those it benefits are constantly looking over their shoulders. Kohn does a superlative job of debunking the myths, the "holy truths" about competition that we ALL have had rammed down our throats: that it's "human nature" (I'm really tired of that one) and that it "brings out our best". Too few of us stop to question this platitudinous common wisdom. Kohn goes a long way toward proving that co-operation is, indeed, a superior form of social organization that needs to be nurtured just as competition has for so long. Unfortunately, most experiments in co-operative (socialist) economics have either been destroyed from without (the US the all-time biggest despoiler) or have been forced to try to survive encircled by hostile, or competitive entities. I am pessimistic. Not enough people are aware of Kohn's research or writings and it's bound to have too little effect. I hope I'm wrong. The capitalist juggernaut rolls on with a monied interest in perpetuating conflict, the competitive ethic among children and adults everywhere while at the same time, ironically, seeking to crush competition. Is it any wonder we live in a conflict-ridden society where most peoples' prescription for this is more and "better" competition? "Lean and mean" has become the indivdual and corporate mantra. It all goes to confirm the Marxist maxim: "The ruling ideas are always the ideas of the ruling class."I
am 2. August 1998
Alfie Kohn has written a masterwork of social psychology in his book, No Contest. Assailing on of our society's most sacred cows, he argues convincingly that common sense notions of competition -- that it is innate, is fun, builds character, and increases productivity -- are all myths. Drawing upon a voluminous amount of sociological and psychological research, Kohn slowly dissects the seedy world of competition and exposes its unsavory reality. Competition hurts productivity in all but the most mindless of tasks; it does build character, but invariably the wrong kind; it is not an innate human instinct but a product of controllable social forces. Last, the notion of competition being fun is the greatest insult and immorality to humanity. For the whole point of MEGA (mutually-exclusive goal attainment -- the fundamental component of competition) is to succeed based on the failure of someone else. Unfortunately, Kohn gives the reader little to go on in the way of! changing from a competitive to a cooperative society, except that people should shun competition and promote cooperative behaviors -- something easier said than done considering most competition is forced upon us. (Kohn offers more in the way of solutions in his other book, Punished by Rewards). Still, Kohn provides tremendous food for thought; and if his objective was to force the reader to, at the very least, reconsider the dubious value of competition in social interactions and institutions, he has done his job exceedingly well.
am 10. Dezember 1997
Nowadays we are taught that getting a good grade is a sign of intellectuality, and that there is no other way to prove oneself but by competing. We don't realize that working together and helping our peers is a sign of good cooperative behavior. As Alfie Kohn remarks, Few values are more persistently promoted in American classrooms than the desirability of trying to beat other people. Sometimes this lesson is presented with all the subtly of a fist in the face, as with the use of spelling bees, grades on a curve (a version of artificial scarcity in which my chance of receiving an A is reduced by your getting one), awards assemblies, and other practices that define the majority of children as losers (198). Report cards and other sources like plaques, medals, etc. are usually the fundamental tools determining intellectual achievement in today's society but are they what they're cracked up to be? To this question I say NO. If little Timmy sees that his buddy earned an A on the essay, he will feel jealous. Hence little Timmy will feel like an underachiever. The purpose of Cooperative Learning is to produce an environment in which everyone can achieve a goal, and be proud to say that we all worked together. On the other hand, the purpose of grades is to show how an individual student is achieving a goal. When a student gets an A he or she might feel very dominant and consider himself the best but when a student works together in a group he will get the reward of helping others, and get a whole new perspective of the subject. This reward, which is not material, will be long lasting and have a value assigned to it. Thus it will be the reward of hard work and determination. You flip open your Timmy's report card and there it is: a big fat F. And you have a hunch it doesn't stand for "Fantastic!" Or even worse, there's more than one of those scarlet letters on the page. How can you help an underachiever to pull up those grades? The typical answers are: 1. Needs to be more competitive. 2. Needs to manage time well 3. Needs to be more productive and a lot of other B.S. When schools start giving comments like your "son/daughter isn't competing with the other kids" we know that something is wrong. I can still recall the day when Timmy and I both got these letters stapled to our report cards. I for sure can say that I wasn't thrilled by getting this letter even though I had more than average grades. To this very day I feel disheartened when I recall that letter saying "How to help an underachiever to pull up those grades." We all need attention, and a lot of help on the part of teachers and other students if we want to learn the right way, and the effective way. Cooperative learning helps students communicate and share ideas while creating a network. This network of ideas gives each individual an approach to whatever he/she is doing, thus helping everyone in their course of study. Just imagine what Timmy could have achieved, and what I would have been like if it were not for individual learning as prescribed by our sixth grade teacher. We all heard poor Timmy's final voice as he committed suicide. He was a child with a dream, a hope, and a will to fight. He could not face the deadly scarlet letter, and had decided that he was an underachiever, and the best thing to do was to leave this society. I guess not everyone agrees with Alfie Kohns concept of cooperative learning, and I think that is a shame because cooperative learning is the wave of the future, and it's something that could stop another Timmy from dying.
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if there were one book that i could insist be read by everyone on earth, this would be that book, without question.Lesen Sie weiter
This book is a disappointing compilation of poor analysis that is almost laughable in missing the big picture.Lesen Sie weiter
Coming from a libretarian socialist and evolutionary point of view I had high expectations of this book. However the biology in here is low quality.Lesen Sie weiter
This elaborate analysis of human psychology in competition is fundamentally biased and misrepresents numerous concepts.Lesen Sie weiter
Nowadays we are taught that getting a good grade is a sign of intellectuality, and that there is no other way to prove oneself but by competing.Lesen Sie weiter
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