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“Let’s all hold hands and cross the line together!”: Competition and gifted learners

Nadine Ballam

Competition appears to have become increasingly discouraged in educational settings in New Zealand in recent years, with a push towards “protecting” our children from being constantly compared with others or experiencing failure. This article reports on a study that explored the lived experiences of gifted and talented young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds. These young people reflect on the role that competition and their competitive natures played in their talent development. A number of implications for practitioners are identified in relation to how competition might enhance or limit levels of motivation and the subsequent achievements of gifted and talented young people.

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