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Cooperation vs. competition and its effects on self-esteem

1 July 1996


The intent of this study is to explore the relationship between cooperation, competition, and self-esteem. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect and analyze the data obtained from fourth and sixth grade classrooms. An experimental approach was taken while I taught several cooperative and competitive lessons. I taught three lessons at the fourth grade level and four lessons at the sixth grade level. Twenty five fourth grade students were administered self-esteem surveys subsequent to each of the three lessons taught. A total of 79 sixth grade students were administered self-esteem surveys subsequent to participating in either a cooperative or competitive activity. The compilation of observational and experimental data revealed a slight significance at the sixth grade level with competition exhibiting higher levels of self esteem than cooperation. At the fourth grade level, observational data seemed to reveal higher levels of self-esteem in relation to cooperation. However, statistical evidence compiled from the surveys did not support this observation. The resulting research of this study reveals the importance and prominence of self-esteem in the classroom and its relation to cooperation and competition.


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