We live in a world that is largely driven by competition. At the earliest stages of life, children are taught – whether directly or indirectly – that they need to compete. At a time that it is believed in certain quarters that children ought to still be playing, on many fronts they are already being pushed into the field of competition. Parents and guardians push their children for better grades. Comparisons get made. The child learns to run against others.
But perhaps there is a more effective way of learning. This may not be the preferred route of children who are naturally bright and so stand out among others. Because of their extraordinary abilities, A-grade students tend to have no problem studying alone. They are often lone wolves who pick up their books, listen to teachers and lecturers and grasp the subjects by themselves.
But this is not so for the majority of students, and it is important that this is noted. Many students need help, guidance and assistance to figure some things out. Somewhere along the line, some of them figure it out or stumble on the idea that they learn better when they collaborate with others. And so, they begin to pull resources together. They meet to tackle their homework together, They form study groups. They assign individuals who are strong in certain subjects to help explain difficult areas.
As the average person grows up into adulthood, while the world screams, “Compete! Fight!! Compete!!!” lessons learned in practical situation tells us that learning and working together benefits everyone in the long run than if we all go it alone. Collaboration, not competition, is the better route.
Perhaps this is where parents, guardians and teachers should start from. Perhaps before we teach our children to compete, it would be more effective to teach them to collaborate and work as a team.