In Nelson and Dawson’s paper, their intention is to avoid the contemporary mainstream of educational practice and to look into the historical evidence of attitudes to competition. Philosophy Socrates claimed that there is no evidence of competition in the kind of learning; competition is used in sports, sometimes music, and wars, but not education. The historical record also mentioned that the grading system in the past does not have an actual score, they used pass grade only. This decrease the competition among students, in other words, decrease the amount of anxiety for students.
Anxiety plays a big role in competition, it is one of the main side effects caused by competition. Competition means there are going to be a winner and a loser as a counterpart. Just think of ourselves, are we going to be happy if we are the loser in the competition? The answer is absolute no. No one likes to be defeated by others. Therefore, if a student counters failure several times, he will fear the feelings of failure and it might discourage him from learning. In addition, anxiety does not only prevent us from learning but have a negative impact on both mental and physical health.
Referring to John’s article, he talks about competition leads to cheating and bribery. As I mentioned above, no one likes the taste of failure. In this case, some people might use drastic methods to avoid failures, such as cheating and bribery. As we can see, cheating in school is not uncommon anymore, however, the radical problem is never solved – competition. Cheating and bribery also presence from workplace to school just like the competition.
From all the examples above, it is clear that competition can bring several destructive side effects to our society. These side effects are well-connected, for example, students who suffered from anxiety cannot study well, when they only focus on the numerical score they received, they will try to apply another way to achieve their goal. Hence, we should learn to avoid competition in education.