While competition has its place, the competitive learning environment in schools may actually be harming education, argues Brent Zeller, the author of "Evolutionary Education: Moving Beyond Our Competitive Compulsion." In this column, Zeller writes that the pressure to outperform peers can have a negative effect on deeper student learning -- particularly when introduced before a subject is mastered. "When competition is introduced into the learning process, learning becomes a contest," he writes. "The focus and emphasis shift from learning to winning."

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