Children: Cooperate or Compete?

Some people think that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged. Others believe that children who are taught to co-operate rather than compete become more useful adults. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Some people view the world as a competitive place, and push their children to win. Others, however, value cooperation, and encourage their children to share, play and work together. In this essay, I will ask if winning always means that the other person loses, and whether teaching our children to win is the best preparation for life.

Competition is undoubtedly good. First of all, it pushes us to do well, both as children and adults. Our physical limits are tested in competitive sports. Competition in business helps companies to produce new products and services, and competition in politics ensures that different opinions get heard and represented. For children, learning to compete is good preparation for the world. A second point is that competition does not just mean winning: children have to learn to lose well and to learn from their mistakes. In addition, competition does not just mean success for the individual. When competing as part of a team children learn the need to share and cooperate.

However, a focus on competitiveness is not always beneficial for children. To begin with, very young children are naturally egocentric. As a result, they have to learn that there are others around them. Children have to be taught the skills of cooperation and sharing. A further point is that by learning to cooperate and work in teams, children learn to share responsibility when things go badly as well as when they go well. Finally, in our highly-interdependent knowledge society, very few breakthroughs happen as a result of one person’s work or ideas. No matter how brilliant an individual is, his or her work is the result of working in a team or a community. In fact, many people now believe that all learning is social, rather than individual.

In conclusion, it is almost impossible to separate these two strands of our lives. We are individuals but we are also social. In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Steven Covey suggests we need to develop a “win-win” attitude. We need to be true to ourselves and what we need, but also to think about the other person’s needs. If we can help our children to do this, we will be doing future generations a huge service.

Words: 413.0 (includes question) | Flesch-Kincaid: 8.6 | Gunning-Fog: 11.1 | Flesch: 60.8 | Sentences: 27.0    *    More on these readability statistics
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6 Responses to Children: Cooperate or Compete?

  1. Webmaster says:

    Here’s a shorter, 250-word answer for the same question.

    Should children learn to cooperate or to compete? Some people think competition is more important, but others believe children should learn to work in teams. This essay will discuss which is more useful for children.

    Competition has many advantages. First of all, the child can learn to depend on himself. If he studies harder than the other students, he may get higher marks. If a girl practices basketball every day, she will probably beat all the others. Second, competition prepares children for the real world. If you want a good job or a good salary, you have to compete with others. Finally, competition teaches you children about winning and losing. Children have to be ready to accept defeat and learn from it.

    Cooperation is also a vital skill which children have to learn from scratch. First of all, most successes and achievements in work and life come from teamwork. Children need to learn how to work in groups and teams. They need to learn to share and accept responsibility. Secondly, cooperation teaches children to think about and respect each other. Instead of one person winning, and everyone else losing, everyone can benefit. A final point is that cooperation does not mean that we can let others do the work. Children still have to be responsible and work for the group. MS Word readability statistics for this 250-word essay

    In conclusion, cooperation and competition are both useful ways of dealing with problems. By giving our children practice with both strategies we will help them to do well as adults.

  2. Milki says:

    Universities should accept equal numbers of male and female students in every subject. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

    With the immense development of society, the number of people attending university has significantly increased, especially the amount of female students. But meanwhile, a debate has been aroused in regards to whether there should have equal number of male and female students in each subject. This is a fierce controversial issue. Therefore, the essay will explore both sides of the argument and present my perspective.

    To begin with, if we consider about the equalitarianism on one hand, it would be undoubtedly to allow equal number of male and female students in a class. Both genders have opportunity to acquire same amount of knowledge and skills which generate a fair competitive chance in their future career. Besides, it can effectively eradicate the problem of sexism. For example, although men may be interested in and good at engineering sciences, it does not mean that women are not expert in this subject as they also can achieve high result, even better than men. Therefore, university should cultivate students to be successful person regardless their gender.

    On the other hand, I personally deem that it is impossible to have equal number of male and female students in every subject. In university education, students should be allowed to choose their favourable subjects rather than the one they feel dull and monotonous. It gives students initiative and motivation to study. Therefore, the number of male and female students will be hard to control.

    Furthermore, women and men have different congenital strength. Some subjects may not suitable for men and vice versa. For example, men usually are more rational than women, thereby choosing the one with strong logical content, such as mathematics, physics and chemistry. On the contrary, women tend to be more innovative and thoughtful, and thus subjects like literatures and arts may be more suitable to them.

    In summary, university education plays a substantial role in people’s life. As a result, school should teach abundant knowledge to every student in spite of their gender.

    • Webmaster says:

      Thanks for this essay, Milki!

      Overall, well done. The only suggestion I would make in your first paragraph is that you avoid using the phrase “controversial issue.” It tends to be overused, and quickly loses its effectiveness. Not every IELTS essay topic is fiercely controversial – some are quite dull, really.

      Just write ‘there is some debate’ or ‘some people feel’ or something less dramatic.

      In paragraph 2, for ‘equalitarianism’, I would use ‘equality’, or ‘egalitarianism’, and in paragraph 3, I would omit the word ‘congenital.’ The debate over whether men are more rational than women, or women more thoughtful than men, is indeed fiercely controversial…

      This essay should be around a 7.5 or higher, I think. To move it even higher you would just need to make it a little simpler, with a more relaxed use of vocabulary and some more idiomatic terms.

  3. Rima says:

    This is great! Thanks! You saved me a lot of brainstorming.

  4. sai sai says:

    I do not really know education anymore. but I try think what is the education.

  5. Huong Giang says:

    Can you fix my essay, please?

    “Some people think that children should learn to compete, but others think that they should be taught to cooperate with others. What’s your opinion?”

    There is a popular claim that some people believe that a sense of competition in children should be encouraged while the others support the idea they should focus on how to co-operate with others. I hold the opinion that competition should be taught in learning process for the reason of positive personality and behavior establishment and better future opportunities.

    To begin with, competition creates favorable conditions for training independence in children. This is due to the fact that among competition students have to solve challenging problems by themselves and raise incredible qualities such as being confident, strong, assertive accordingly. For instance, in japan , students in the same class often take a best track record of the most excellent one in the class to try to be over it. However, if students are too competitive to control their actions or in another word, they have negative behaviour such as being jealous to better classmates or hating them, here sense of competition is getting a bad issue significantly influencing on kids’ quality in the future.
    Another point I would like to make is that by giving an education about the sense of competition, it stimulates students to prepare things better. Because they always make intensive efforts to compete with others, they will get used to the ever-growing competition in the society. Furthermore, competition can motivate indiscipline students to study hard simply because children do not often have a fancy for standing behind others. Therefore, their studying results will be of higher quality leading to a window of opportunity for applying successfully for good university is opened.

    Admittedly, it could also be said that a focus on competitiveness can create a selfish generation. Pupils only consider about the question how to win, therefore they might use alternative ways for winning like cheating. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that competition does not just mean success for the individual, and there are always two sides in competition: winner and loser. If children are the losers, they will have to learn to lose well and to learn from their mistakes.

    In conclusion, competition is undoubtedly necessary for teenager development. In my opinion, government should construct competition education system appropriate for children ages, and teachers should teach students both competition and co-operation at a proportionate level.

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