Competition LO18031

Richard Goodale (
Fri, 08 May 98 11:33:23 GMT

Replying to LO18017 --


Brilliant post! As one who has been a competitive (and cooperative)
athlete throughout his life, it revived many memories and struck many

A week from today, my eldest daughter (age 5) participates in her first
Primary (Elementary) school Sports Day. I have been told that the event
will be "totally non-competitive," i.e. no "winners" and no "losers," and
this format will be for the whole school (i.e. up to age 12).
Interestingly, the teacher added the proviso ("Except for, perhaps, the
nursery children" (e.g. the 4-5 year olds--my daughter). "They haven't
learned yet how not to compete," she added, with not a little bit of
contempt for the evil thoughts which we parents might have visited on
these poor little souls.

I know that I live in one of the last bastions of the dream of a "workers
paradise"--not ten miles from where I live, the local councillor is
probably the only elected Communist this side of Pyongyang. And, I do
very much value the benefits of cooperation and collaboration.
I do so to the complete exclusion of what are obviously very natural
instincts amongst our children to compete? To test their skills against
their peers? To learn from both victory and defeat. To learn to strive
to "burn with that gemlike flame (Pater)?" To learn that "(wo)man's reach
should exceed his(her) grasp (Browning)?"

I know that Caitlin (my daughter) will enjoy Sports Day, regardless of how
it's structured. However, I (and my wife) are not at all sure that the
day (and subsequent ones) will be proper learning experiences.

Our minds are open, however. So stay tuned.

Cheers from Caledonia.

Richard Goodale
The Dornoch Partnership
"Dicovery, Creativity, Leadership"


Richard Goodale <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>