From Zero Sum to Positive Sum
Jun 2022

From Zero Sum to Positive Sum

Educators preach about growth and grit to children, but the system itself fails to encourage perseverance and curiosity. Instead, it does the opposite by affixing labels to students, sorting them into relatively static groups, and signalling to the students that that their effort doesn’t matter. This learning model is an outgrowth of a dangerous zero-sum mindset.

Moving to a mastery-based system and measuring students against a standard instead of each other can lift students and teachers into a positive-sum system. The road to positive-sum schooling system starts with small steps, not big leaps. In such a system, the measure would not be time, but progress, as individual children chase their most daring dreams.


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