So, here's the monologue I carried out with myself:
Me: Yes, I think so. For example, team sports are competitive because you're competing against another team. At the same, it's an example of healthy competition because there's a lot of teamwork and collaboration involved in order to win.
Me: So, I can imagine how collaboration can work to make an institution, organization or workplace competitive in its field.
(Pregnant pause right about now.)
Me: Absolutely! Collaboration that is mandated with little to no planning or inclusion of participants' voices and expertise is likely to fail. Human beings crave voice and choice. When we don't get it, we don't do our best work.
Should we therefore eliminate all forms of competition? I'm not sure that's desirable or even possible. However, we can promote instances of healthy competition whenever possible.
This is the kind of classroom and school culture that many of us strive to create - (healthy) collaborative spaces where students can safely explore learning and make themselves over again and again (healthy competition) into better and better versions of themselves.
So, what do you think? Am I just confusing the issues here? What is your thinking on competition vs. collaboration? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.