London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Teachers' perception of the role of competition in their Country: Hungary Japan and the USA

Author(s) Márta Fülöp  
Publisher CiCe  
Year 2000  
Editor Alistair Ross, Curricula for Citizenship in Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
Comments: Competition is an interdisciplinary concept, that can be conceived as a psychological, social, economical and also a political phenomenon. Although competition and competitiveness have been studied excessively in social psychology, educational psychology, personality psychology etc. there have been no studies to reveal, how teachers in different societies (e.g. a post-socialist society in Europe, an Asian democracy and a Western democracy) construct the meaning of competition, how they relate to competition, how their ideas are related to their experiences with competition as a person and as a professional and how those ideas are formed by the respective societies? cultural-political socialisation process. In his empirical study, ?The Competitive Advantage of Nations? Porter (1989) argues that differences in national values contribute profoundly to competitive success. By comparing ten nations, he came to regard culture of any given nation as an important element! in its competitiveness. Following his argument we can hypothesise that the cultural concept of competition and the values attached to it can also influence the competitiveness of a country. Teachers play an explicit role in value socializtaion and they are probably close to the prevailing value consensus in every society (Schwartz, 1992). This is why it is particularly interesting to study how teachers living in different societies think about competition, as they have a key role in the socialisation of young people heading to form their society?s future

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