No Contest: The Case Against Competition / Edition 1

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No Contest stands as the definitive critique of competition. Contrary to accepted wisdom, competition is not basic to human nature; it poisons our relationships and holds us back from doing our best. In this new edition, Alfie Kohn argues that the race to win turns all of us into losers.

Updated for the 1990s, the award-winning book that stands as the definitive critique of competition. Kohn says that contrary to accepted wisdom, competition is not basic to "human nature, " but actually poisons our relationships, damages our self-esteem, and holds us back from doing our best. Includes new matial on "cooperative learning" in the classroom. "By perceiving that cooperation is the answer, not competition, Alfie Kohn opens a new world of living."--Dr. W. Edwards Deming.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Contending that competition in all areasschool, family, sports and businessis destructive, and that success so achieved is at the expense of another's failure, Kohn, a correspondent for USA Today, advocates a restructuring of our institutions to replace competition with cooperation. He persuasively demonstrates how the ingrained American myth that competition is the only normal and desirable way of lifefrom Little Leagues to the presidencyis counterproductive, personally and for the national economy, and how psychologically it poisons relationships, fosters anxiety and takes the fun out of work and play. He charges that competition is a learned phenomenon and denies that it builds character and self-esteem. Kohn's measures to encourage cooperation in lieu of competition include promoting noncompetitive games, eliminating scholastic grades and substitution of mutual security for national security.September 23
Library Journal
Kohn, a journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as The Nation and Psychology Today , has written a timely summary of research and commentary by others on the psychology of competitiveness. He seeks to debunk ``the rationalizations for competition''that it is inevitable, more productive, more enjoyable, and likely to build character. In closely reasoned argument he shows that, while competition is deeply ingrained, it is also inherently destructive, especially where self-esteem is contingent on winning at the expense of others. The book, which lacks depth only in its discussion of organizational behavior and the incentive for creativity, will provoke considerable discussion. Recommended for general collections and subject collections on social interaction. William Abrams, Portland State Univ. Lib., Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395631256
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 338
  • Sales rank: 327,452
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Alfie Kohn's six previous books include Punished by Rewards and No Contest: The Case Against Competition, as well as Beyond Displine and What to Look for in a Classroom. Descrilbed by Time magazine last year as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of educational fixation on grades and test scores," he is a popular lecturer, speaker to teachers, parents, and reasearchers accross the country. The author currently resides in Belmont, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

1 The "Number One" Obsession 1
2 Is Competition Inevitable? The "Human Nature" Myth 11
3 Is Competition More Productive? The Rewards of Working Together 45
4 Is Competition More Enjoyable? On Sports, Play, and Fun 79
5 Does Competition Build Character? Psychological Considerations 96
6 Against Each Other: Interpersonal Considerations 132
7 The Logic of Playing Dirty 158
8 Women and Competition 168
9 Beyond Competition: Thoughts on Making Change 182
10 Learning Together 197
Afterword 233
Notes 247
References 289
Index 315
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2015

    To Mellisa

    Wow amazing you have REAL talent- Anna, Alyssas sister

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2015

    To Melissa

    You are a very creative writer. Alyssa

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    Love's Destruction: Chapter 1

    Beep. Beep. Beep. "Ugghhh. Stupid alarm clock. I thought i just fell asleep how is it seven already?" Alexis groaned. "Time for school!" Her father yelled. She barely caught the bus on time. "Why am i so unlucky?" Alexis asked her best friend, Sarah. "Its not your fault Alex," Sarah replied using my nickname. "Youll be lucky someday soon im sure." "I hope so." Alexis replied. *Later At School* "Hey! Im new here but i can tell you know your way around. Could you show me where room 136 is?" Asked a cute blue eyed kid. "My names Anthony." "Sure im headed over there now." I reply. Suddenly he leans over and kisses me on the lips. "Id like to know your name too if you dont mind." Anthony said quietly. Im so surprised by him kissing me that i could barely squeak, "Alexis." "Thats a beautiful name," he replied. "How about i pick you up at seven tonight?" "Yes!" I squealed. *The Next Day At School* "Hey You!" The wide receiver of the football team, Greg, yells at Anthony. "I heard you kissed my girl yesterday" "Im NOT your girl!" I yelled back. Greg proceeds to shove Anthony. "No response huh? Ill deal with that. You can either beg for mercy now or be brought out of here in an ambulance" he warns. Anthony picks himself up and throws a punch to Gregs jaw. Immediately, Greg blocks his punch and breaks Anthonys arm. "You wanna keep going punk?" Greg asks. "Last chance. Beg and we might show you mercy." I scream "Stop it!!!" They ignore me. Greg immediately punches Anthony so hard that everyone heard cracking noises coming from Anthonys side. "Beg. NOW!" Greg shouted his voice a roar. "BEG. BEG. BEG" Greg yelled as he punched Anthony several more times. "Anthony was taking all these hits but he had several broken ribs already and if we dont get out of here soon he could die." Alexis thought. With one final punch to the jaw, Greg made Anthony sink to his knees and then fall over unconcious. "NOOOO" l screamed. Greg turned towards me. "Come on over sweetie" he said mocking Anthonys voice. I ran as far and fast as i could. I didnt stop until i was home in my bed crying. *The Next Day* The phone rang. "Hello?" I answered. "Hello this is the Hospital. This is the number Anthony Johnson gave us to call." "How is he?" I asked. "We are so sorry but he... didnt make it out of surgery." I hung up. My eyes were already welling with tears. ~ Melissa (Thanks for reading! I will post if im continuing and where at on next res. Need 3 comments to keep going.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2015


    This contest need's death and goar!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2015

    To melissa

    Pretty good but it seems a little weird that he kissed her when they first met.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    To aurora

    Can we do this today too?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014


    We can if your still here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Back Again

    I trudged home through the flashes of lightning. The rain beat down in sheets on my head. I wasn't going home to the sweet and loving parents that you go home to every day. I dragged myself to a drunk stepfather who hates me. My mom is never there. I'm glad, as she hates me even more. Mom says she has an important job that she has to go to, but she really spends all day at a bar ordering beer after beer. I thought about my real father, who carried me when it was dark and helped me at every step. The father who taught me how to walk and how to ride a bike. Before mom went klepto, she used to tell me about dad. I could just picture his warm smile and golden caring eyes. When mom spent her first day at the bar, she came back a bit dizzy. She asked dad to go out with her for a minute. Dad never came back. Mom spent more and more time at the bar. We argued. Eventually she started beating me on sight, three years ago. Things got worse when she brought home a " new dad" and a ring. My stepfather beat me every afternoon. He used a lug wrench. After I came home, after the beating, I spent the night crying in my room. When mom gets home, she beats be even harder. I think I barely survive two beatings each night. I reached my street. A penny clinked down at the gutter. I picked it up, hoping it might be a good luck sign. When I reached my house, the door swung open. My stepfather jeered from inside. He dragged me into the hall and yelled at me. " You're late! You think you can just lag off?" I whimpered at his feet. " Henry, get the wrench!" Anothr man walked in, holding a lug wrench. He was covered in mud and muscles. He handed the wrench to my stepfather. Then the beating began. He rapped the wrench hard on my back. Then a sharp blow hit the back of my head. I was black and blue by the time the final blow came. It was a whack in the neck with the wrench and his fist. I tried to crawl away, but the other man grabbed me. He beat me more while holding me by the scruff of my neck. He finally drop-kicked me onto the lawn. Mom was waiting for me. " You miserable animal." She said with the telltale glint of her worst drinking ever. " I'd like to talk to you in private." She dragged me over to the shed, which she opened up. She reached for the sledgehammer inside. " I've had enough of your whinin'." She snarled. " So I'll make it stop." She was going to kill me, just as she had killed my father. The hammer swung down towards my neck. There was an excruciating pain, then a pure white. |==========[]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Love at First Bite

    Prom was a day away and i was planning for what i would were. My dates nam was Ash and YES he is emo. I think he is going to make me so poupler! I am pretty, and i get what i want when i want it. Who could ask for a better life. My life was about to cange. "Today is the day!" Ash said holding my hand. I nodded and looked at his black outfit. "Dress pretty." He laughed. "Yeah! And you dress nice!" I said. He kissed me nad said "I going home to get ready." I walked to my house and got dressed. I looked in the mirror and smiled. 'You are pretty' i thought. Then i got in Ash's car. I was dancing when a slow song came on. Ash walked over to me and grabbed my hand. "Tonight you will go homw diffrent." He said smilimg. I looked at him. He laughed. As he kissed my neck, i felt a sting. I saw blood on my neck. As he bit me i was falling to the floor dying. I finally saw a bright light and heard Ash laughing. By: teagan williams

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Melancholy Bittersweet Part 1 - Story contest

    It was Christmas Eve, about 12:35 at night. I wasn't thinking about the presents I would get like most kids, I was thonkingabout surviving. You see, being a demigod, especially a daughter of Hades is really hard. Every tome I think of my past, on my tongue is a melancholy bittersweetness. My dad abandoning me. Mom dying. So I am a orphan, living in the streets of the Big Apple.
    I'm Serendipity Florence, and proud. Being a demigod is NOT a game. It's really dangerous- fighting monsters, which could actually get you killed. I've been trying to find my way to the so called safe haven of Camp Half Blood. I don't know if I'll ever make it- I might be killed by a monster. I know I'm getting close though- monsters have been mumbling about the wall in the woods. I'm pretty sure they are talking about the forests near Long Island.
    * * *
    Now I'm 16 and at Camp Half Blood. I'm chosen as the leader of a quest to save the gods from destroying each other with anger.
    -- thanks for reading! If you want more, I need characters for the quest. Post character bios and comments at lightning theif to Rana. Next part at lightning theif. THANKS! Rana

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    Who won the contest


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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Life and Death part one

    I know I'm rubbish at wrighting but so it goes. "Put as much distance as you can" I thought. "I'm coming back you know you have not scared me off" I screamed. Who am I my name is Jack Parker and I live in New York. And I'm running from my absuve father because he nearly killed me. I am going to tell what happened. My stepmother,Grace,was killed because of him. Naturlly he was a drunk and got so drunk he killed her at least that is what I saw. I don't know if she is dead or not. She was unlike other steparents she was nice,kind and never beat me. My dad on the other hand was the exact opposite mean, never kind and absuve one day he took it to far and compleately destroyed us and that is where I am now running away. I don't know where I will go. ""I'm coming back and I will take my revenge" I swore. After running for about two hours I came upon a school. "Welcome to Nancy Acadamy" said a male voice "we have been expecting you Mr.Parker". "How do you know my name" I said to the voice. "Simple you stepmom contacted us saying you were coming here and here you are" and a weelchair with the man came. "Who are you " "I am Mr.Brusher " he said with a little hesation " and you and I will tour this school ". Going alone with a man I didn't know a little stupid but not know what he might do I went with him. "We are like a normal school but still different " he said "sir how are you different" "you do not want to know" he said gravely. That got me thinking did that randomly suprise you with missle launchers "no that would be stupid" I thought but what made them different "as I was explaining we have sports now do you understand " that jolted me out of my thinking "we take things very seirously don't fail and you will prevail" he said "and you might get out alive" he muttered. How did I do I would like a pkace but if I don't I understand good bye ~ Jack

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    My story

    Is at autumn leaf all res.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Can iwrite tommorrow

    Im ready but ill do it tommorrow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    For story contest.

    Look at Demigod Files. It is the review called Tripplets of Trouble. By Melia.
    I hope you like it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    To who won the contest

    Sweet sorrow won next resault is second place and so on

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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