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Developing Individual Goals, Shared Goals, and the Goals of Others: Dimensions of Constructive Competition in Learning Contexts

Journal article
Authors Sonja Sheridan
Pia Williams
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research
Volume 55
Issue 2
Pages 145–164
ISSN 0031-3831
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 145–164
Language en
Keywords constructive competition, learning, collaboration, pre-school
Subject categories Pedagogy


The aim is to describe and define constructive competition as an educational phenomenon in different learning contexts. The study involved a total of 78 children aged between 5 and 18, and 29 teachers from pre-schools, compulsory school, and upper secondary programs. Data were generated in individual interviews and use was made of critical incidents and photographic vignettes. The results show that constructive competition is constituted by at least six dimensions. We also demonstrate how children, adolescents, and teachers can compete constructively in order to develop their own goals, those of others, as well as common goals. The study provides a theoretical contribution in illuminating ways in which constructive competition is constituted and related to children’s, adolescents’, and teachers’ motivation and learning.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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