"It's only by not following the composer's instructions that the piece becomes exciting."
Market-based competition is closer in spirit to the interaction among Olympic figure skaters, in which pressure from other competitors and from outside judges pushes individuals to seek innovations, to strive for doing the old and familiar in better ways. Sure, the figure skaters are trying their hardest to compete and win, but their process of competing under agreed-upon rules is a deeply cooperative and shared enterprise. In the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, when the ex-husband of skater Tonya Harding hired a thug to try to break the leg of another skater, Nancy Kerrigan, the attack was clearly outside the meaning of competition because it breached the cooperative essence behind how Olympic competition works.
TL;DR: The opposite of competition is not cooperation.
I assume we will always lack the human resources for the kind of close attention and investment in students the article suggests we need. What's the upper limit, even, for the teacher to student ratio? While human relationships are crucial for parts of education (e.g. socialization, communication, meaning, motivation), I am more hopeful about other ways to motivate learning and to develop skills, like gamification or SOLEs , even if these strategies don't fully replicate or replace the in-person element.
It's right to caution against a top-down approach to education reform, and I agree that teachers should lead the way in helping the rest of us understand how to best use technology in the classroom. We also need to better understand the market, which to me means: understanding what motivates people to learn (removing social and economic barriers along the way), and how to leverage technology appropriately, instead of using it as a panacea for lacking resources.
- University of Wisconsin-MadisonIndustrial and Systems Engineering
- University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignPsychology, Philosophy
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