Can Education Be Both Competitive and Compassionate?
Education today faces an unprecedented challenge. Economic competition at the international level has a much more immediate effect on the educational experience of every student in China, the United States, and elsewhere. This global impact can be tangibly felt, not only at the national level, but also right down to the level of interpersonal competition, by teachers with colleagues across the hall, and by students sitting next to each other in classrooms. In both China and the United States, the current emphasis of education policy is on competitive success. It is not likely that there will be a quick and tectonic shift to balance competitive and compassionate goals. The only way to move toward that latter goal is to have the academic component be one that will itself generate a more articulate and ethically reflective individual, one who can express him- or herself about challenging social, civic, and interpersonal issues.
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