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ERIC Number: EJ945252
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
The Role of Fictive Kinship Relationships in Mediating Classroom Competition and Supporting Reciprocal Mentoring
Olitsky, Stacy
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v6 n4 p883-894 Dec 2011
Previous research has suggested that competitive classroom environments can play a role in perpetuating race and class inequalities. However, classroom competition can also promote learning, and eliminating it could do students a disservice. This paper draws on research literature and data from a qualitative study by Konstantinos Alexakos, Jayson K. Jones, and Victor H. Rodriguez on fictive kinship in order to explore the conditions under which classroom competition could benefit students from non-dominant groups. Based on their data, I argue that competition can support the learning of students from non-dominant groups, provided that it takes place in the context of strong emotional ties and successful interaction rituals. I also discuss the role of competition in facilitating reciprocal mentoring, as students seek knowledge and skills from each other in order to participate in solidarity-building classroom interactions. In addition, I show how their study challenges a perceived dichotomy between competition and cultural orientations towards communalism.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A