Competition vs. creativity?

An interesting perspective from education professor John Kitchens:

President Obama, you must understand that mandating standards without equitable funding creates punitive systems of education, and current forms of high-stakes testing too often pit student against student, and eventually citizen against citizen. The struggling economy will likely renew the sense of competition and education for the sake of occupational gain, while a sober look at the number of jobs available in the near future will reveal the futility of these motivations. However entrenched these ideas about education are in the minds of Americans, it diminishes the creative spirit of humanity to think that our ingenuity is dependent upon competition. It also tends to marginalize other important human resources that aren't definitely valued by efficiency or occupational practicality, for example the arts.

Read the entire essay here.

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I really like Prof. Kitchens perspective, being possibly the least competitive person I know. This essay rather resonates with me, as I am trying to make decisions about where I want to transfer to from community college. There is a very good possibility that I could end up in Stanford's psych program, which given my focuses of linguistics and addiction would be the most ideal school possible.

But I am rather concerned about petty bullshit that is fostered by jealousy and competition. I have work to do, ideas to develop - I don't care about the petty bullshit and quite honestly, I don't think it's worth risking my mental stability. Not that I'm doing badly, but even with the meds, it's a matter of degree. I'm a relatively bright person, with a lot to contribute. I am far more interested in making my contribution in conjunction with others who make theirs and creating something greater than the sum of it's parts.

The fact that we stifle so much innovation in the name of petty squabbling and ego-masturbation is absolutely maddening.