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Are 'Participation Trophies' Harmful to Young People?

Should kids get a trophy simply for participating in organized sports? Based on the online chatter this question provoked, it seems this issue really touches a nerve in the education community.

An nprEd article by Cory Turner shared the views of many who sounded off on the topic.

Most were against what they called "everybody trophies." Readers shared the concern of Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck — that rewarding kids for showing up can create feelings of entitlement. And commenter Joseph said, "This is killing our sense of competition. Everyone doesn't have to finish first. Sometimes losing helps us get better so that next time we can win."

Others saw no problem with honoring kids' participation, however. They argued that kids aren't dumb and know the difference between what the winner gets and what everyone else gets.

Explained reader Mike Labare, "Even the most valuable players cannot win alone. If we look to the professionals, the team gets the trophy, the MVP gets a trophy but everybody gets a ring."

Read the full story.

And be sure to check out this related EducationWorld article: Effective Praise: Giving the Right Compliments to Students.

Article by Celine Provini, EducationWorld Editor

Are we doing kids a disservice by awarding trophies just for participation?

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