Currently, I read the book Outliers by Malcom Gladwell, where, in the second chapter, he talks about the phenomenon ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. As I was reading about competition in the classroom, I wondered, is the following a self-fulfilling prophecy?
So to say that the “real world” is inherently competitive is for the most part a myth. Moreover, to say that we are preparing students for the real world by putting them in artificially constructed competitive situations is to impose our world-view on them. In fact, one could argue that in a broad sense, collectively, we as educators create a more or less competitive future world by the way we encourage our students to think and treat one another. In other words, if we create a more cooperative environment in our schools we create the likelihood of a more cooperative future world, whereas, if we create more competitive environments, we create a more competitive world in the future.