Radical Pedagogy (2013)
Volume 10 Issue 2
What’s an Answer Worth?: Schools and the Production of Competitors
Martin T. Connell
Department of Education & Allied Studies
John Carroll University
Among the things that many “games” played in classrooms accomplish are the mediation of competition among students and the creation of value of student answers. In this article I use the fine-grained analysis of one such activity, “geography baseball,” as a way to begin to consider critically the means by which schools produce not only students but also competitors, rivals for ownership of both knowledge and success, both of which are constructed as private goods. The article ends by proposing that the black market serves as an apt metaphor for what happens in classroom activities that offer narrow opportunities for students to present themselves as knowledgeable.
Keywords: competition, social processes, teacher education, identity