No Contest: The Case Against Competition

No Contest: The Case Against Competition

by Alfie Kohn


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No Contest: The Case Against Competition by Alfie Kohn

No Contest, which has been stirring up controversy since its publication in 1986, stands as the definitive critique of competition. Drawing from hundreds of studies, Alfie Kohn eloquently argues that our struggle to defeat each other - at work, at school, at play, and at home - turns all of us into losers.

Contrary to the myths with which we have been raised, Kohn shows that competition is not an inevitable part of human nature. It does not motivate us to do our best (in fact, our workplaces and schools are in trouble because they value competitiveness instead of excellence). Rather than building character, competition sabotages self-esteem and ruins relationships. It even warps recreation by turning the playing field into a battlefield.

No Contest makes a powerful case that "healthy competition" is a contradiction in terms. Because any win/lose arrangement is undesirable, we will have to restructure our institutions for the benefit of ourselves, our children, and our society.

For this revised edition, Kohn adds a comprehensive account of how students can learn more effectively by working cooperatively in the classroom instead of struggling to be Number One. He also offers a pointed and personal afterword, assessing shifts in American thinking on competition and describing reactions to his provocative message.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780395453940
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/15/1987
Pages: 272

About the Author

ALFIE KOHN's published works include Punished by Rewards, No Contest: The Case Against Competition, Beyond Discipline, and What to Look for in a Classroom. Described by Time as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of educational fixation on grades and test scores," he has traveled across the country delivering lectures to teachers, parents, and researchers.

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