American childrens' lack of competitive spirit.
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  1. #1
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    Hand American childrens' lack of competitive spirit.


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    Well, maybe I'm generalizing a bit here, but I am just writing from my own experience, which was shockingly approved by few other friends of mine recently.


    Owing to the fact that American education system in public schools atleast, does not have the quarterly, half-yearly and annual examinations followed by assigning of scores and 'ranks' to the students, many children, including my own, are completely devoid of any 'competitive spirit'.


    Competitive spirit serves to be a profound motivator to achieve - to excel. Indian school system still promotes competitive examinations for all students and many, many students benefit from this as they are motivated by competitive spirit to achieve! And they score high!


    Whereas in American schools, there is no concept of "Rank" or "1st mark", etc. I have practically seen several children just give all subjects some preliminary understanding so as to 'pass' in the examination but never have the aim to 'score high' and 'achieve' because they lack this competitive spirit!


    Please share if you have any observations.
    Last edited by JR; 31-03-2015 at 12:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR View Post
    Well, maybe I'm generalizing a bit here, but I am just writing from my own experience, which was shockingly approved by few other friends of mine recently.


    Owing to the fact that American education system in public schools atleast, does not have the quarterly, half-yearly and annual examinations followed by assigning of scores and 'ranks' to the students, many children, including my own, are completely devoid of any 'competitive spirit'.


    Competitive spirit serves to be a profound motivator to achieve - to excel. Indian school system still promotes competitive examinations for all students and many, many students benefit from this as they are motivated by competitive spirit to achieve! And they score high!


    Whereas in American schools, there is no concept of "Rank" or "1st mark", etc. I have practically seen several children just give all subjects some preliminary understanding so as to 'pass' in the examination but never have the aim to 'score high' and 'achieve' because they lack this competitive spirit!


    Please share if you have any observations.
    hi

    in india...we have more tests in writing....no practical experience....to get LKG ADMISION IS LIKE ROCKET SCIENCE.....MONEY

    ORIENTED EDUCATION SYSTEM IN SCHOOLS....BEST MONEY SPINNING BUSINESS IS INDIAN EDUCATION...but here in USA...

    free compulsory education with free bus/even free food ....NO CHILD LEFT OUT IS THE POLICY OF USA....in usa..school

    system based on county/state based.....many programmes in govt school in usa is BETTER THAN BEST PRIVATE SCHOOLS

    IN INDIA.....in india...BEST SCHOOL EDUCATION ONLY FOR RICH PEOPLE...NOT FOR COMMON/MIDDLE CLASS....i like USA

    EDUCATION IS FAR BETTER THAN INDIAN EDUCATION....WE HAVE TO BRIBE MONEY FOR LKG ADMISSION IN INDIA....

    INDIAN SCHOOLS/COLLEGES ARE LIKE FACTORIES....MONEY SPEAKS....sorry to say....
    asato maa sadh gamayaa, tamaso maa jyotir
    gamayaa, mrityor maa amritham gamayaaa..
    om shanti, om shanti, om shanti...upanishad
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    TBS ji,

    But may I know your observation on the lack of competitive spirit part?...

    Take me as an example. Until my elementary school, I was an average student. When I came to middle school, there were few very bright students in my class who scored within the first 3 ranks always. Overcome by my desire to surpass them, I started shining in my studies - a trait which I retained all through my school and college years.

    I noticed that my son who is a double graduate in Math and EE and a bright student lacks this competitive spirit - to surpass one's peers and achieve high -- or to put it in plain terms, "to win 1st Rank". I know few people in my friends circle with whom I was discussing this the other day and they expressed the same opinion as I do. Whereas I know some people who scored 1st Rank/State first, etc, in studies because they wanted to outshine their peers! This type of competition is natural among children in Indian schools, whereas their American counterparts are sorely lacking in it, IMHO.

    So what's your take on this issue? Do you think having the 'competitive spirit' is good or not?
    Sarvam Sri Krishnarpanamastu!
    Jai Shri Ram!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR View Post
    TBS ji,

    But may I know your observation on the lack of competitive spirit part?...

    Take me as an example. Until my elementary school, I was an average student. When I came to middle school, there were few very bright students in my class who scored within the first 3 ranks always. Overcome by my desire to surpass them, I started shining in my studies - a trait which I retained all through my school and college years.

    I noticed that my son who is a double graduate in Math and EE and a bright student lacks this competitive spirit - to surpass one's peers and achieve high -- or to put it in plain terms, "to win 1st Rank". I know few people in my friends circle with whom I was discussing this the other day and they expressed the same opinion as I do. Whereas I know some people who scored 1st Rank/State first, etc, in studies because they wanted to outshine their peers! This type of competition is natural among children in Indian schools, whereas their American counterparts are sorely lacking in it, IMHO.

    So what's your take on this issue? Do you think having the 'competitive spirit' is good or not?
    hi jayashree,

    this first rank myth ....makes a lot of mental health problems....generally we compare with other kids....PAARU DA PAKKATHU

    AATHU PAYYAN UNNAI VIDA ADHIGAM MARK VAANGITTAN......பாரு டா பக்கத்து ஆத்து பய்யன் உன்னை விட அதிகம் மார்க் வாங்கிட்டன்....

    this comparison is not good competetion....EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS UNIQUE....I NEVER COMPARE MUCH.....just example ..my

    daughter is doing USMD in a famous medical school in USA....my younger son is medium/normal...i know he cant be like his sister...
    Last edited by tbs; 31-03-2015 at 03:05 AM.
    asato maa sadh gamayaa, tamaso maa jyotir
    gamayaa, mrityor maa amritham gamayaaa..
    om shanti, om shanti, om shanti...upanishad
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbs View Post

    PAARU DA PAKKATHU

    AATHU PAYYAN UNNAI VIDA ADHIGAM MARK VAANGITTAN......பாரு டா பக்கத்து ஆத்து பய்யன் உன்னை விட அதிகம் மார்க் வாங்கிட்டன்....
    LOL. I agree, the above attitude is very popular among our people... be it anything! I told about this the other day to my son and daughter -- and they were giggling!

    this comparison is not good competetion....EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS UNIQUE....I NEVER COMPARE MUCH.....just example ..my

    daughter is doing USMD in a famous medical school in USA....my younger son is medium/normal...i know he cant be like his sister...
    Good Sir, I like it that your daughter is self-motivated to achieve big. But, for some, such self-motivation does not come by and this is where I think the competitive spirit might come handy...
    Sarvam Sri Krishnarpanamastu!
    Jai Shri Ram!
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    There is lot of criticism regarding the Indian Education system where many says that it promotes only rote learning and real learning does not take place . I think in Today's context with the spread of Internet where more information is available the duty of the teacher /educator is to inculcate the curiosity and joy of learning in the student . Carl Sagan in his book "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark " has dedicated a chapter No: 19 titled "NO such thing as a dumb question " where he deals with how the curiosity of the student is curtailed by our short sighted approach in education that encourages a student to pursue instant success i.e choose careers that are financially rewarding and avoid the longer route of developing a learning mind that is always curious to know why things are the way they are and discover the joys of finding answers to the same ` .
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    What is the point of achieving first rank if one cannot create something new and interesting in later life? Creativity is not measured in marks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by biswa View Post
    What is the point of achieving first rank if one cannot create something new and interesting in later life? Creativity is not measured in marks.
    100% true!


    Frankly speaking I do not think one needs to have a competitive spirit.

    I never ever had a competitive spirit even though I was a very good student myself all thru school and college both in studies and sports(not bragging!LOL)

    I always set my own personal goals without the need to compare and contrast with others. I have never ever thought of outshining anyone else cos I do not compare myself with others.There will surely be someone better than us or someone not as good as us..why do we need to keep a count?

    But surprisingly many have tried to compete with me!LOL

    I feel children should be taught to have a more balanced approach in life and study hard and realize that their full potential might not merely be measured in marks.

    At the same time one need not be attached to "inaction" and do nothing to improve themselves.

    Life is all about striking a balance..I have noted those who are too competitive never realize that life isn't all about marks and rank.

    Most of them eventually end up with some serious physical health issues in later part of life owing to their type A personality...any form of "failure" in later life totally throws them off balance.

    I teach my son that life is about sailing thru without being too affected by success or failure but at the same time trying our best to improve ourselves physically and mentally without abandoning human values.
    Last edited by renuka; 31-03-2015 at 09:03 AM.
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    I agree with Renuka. There need not be "Killing" competitive spirit among children. They have only marks in view. I don't think a student getting two marks more than others is more intelligent. Learning the subject, getting interested in the subject and over all attitude is more important. If they like something they would naturally inclined to know more about it. Effort is more important than mugging up and getting marks. Schools should motivate children in becoming more creative and make them think and analyse. Ranking, 1st mark...these create more stress in children and more than children parents feel the stress. Comparing one child with another is not at at all good. Each child is unique.
    Student has to improve on himself...once he improves he would not want to go back. What he is learning should be focused on. Good effort always fetches good results.
    Yes, balanced approach is more important.
    Syamala
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    Quote Originally Posted by biswa View Post
    What is the point of achieving first rank if one cannot create something new and interesting in later life? Creativity is not measured in marks.
    I am not saying one's creativity is unimportant. Nor am I saying American education system is bad. Afterall, I have encountered numerous very brilliant programmers and system analysts of American descent in my experience.

    In my practical observation though, the competitive spirit yields an achiever who would 'go beyond' his/her comfort zone and want to be adventurous and achieve big... be it any field, competition makes a student strive beyond what he/she is capable of (to begin with) and this includes all fields such as Sports, Music, Spelling Bees, etc.

    A certain amount of healthy competition mindedness is good, IMO.
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