'They conclude that 'this competitive orientation leads to isolation and alienation' among students, encouraging a handful of "winners" while depressing the performance of the many, especially female students and minorities, who withdraw from the aggressive affect of the classroom."
I have very mixed feelings on the idea of competition in the classroom. I really feel as though competition can bring out the best in students. When they compete I find that scores rise and there is a happy morale in the classroom. I find that even my reluctant learners compete with each other. They may not be competing with the "winner" of the class but competing within their comfort level. Which also results in a rise in scores and abilities.
Shor talks about the star charts which I remember from elementary school. My work was always neat and hung on the wall for others to view. I always had lots of stars next to my name on the star chart. So is that why it did not make a negative impact in my mind? The students who did not have the stars or their work up on the wall, how did they feel? Did they strive harder so they could have stars? Or did they just shut down?
I disagree with how Shor singles out women and minorities. I do NOT believe women and minorities withdraw from the aggressive classroom. I find in my classroom women and minorities are very vocal and participate a lot.
Speaking about participation, Shor talks a lot about participation. I find that when my students participate and/ or make a personal connection they are REALLY learning and grasping the material. How can we get more of the reluctant students to participate without discouraging the ones who already do?