Posted in Blog on July 26, 2011 by Molly Loeb
Written By: Ted Wohlfarth
Imagine games that create a culture of respect by challenging young people to keep score of competition against problems - not against people. Envision scoreboards that undermine the motivation to bully by changing the ways people win. This picture is coming into focus in St. Louis classrooms where gang members have become partners by playing games keep score of collaborative performance.
Kids long for attention. They want recognition and status. Kids see that winners get attention, recognition and status. Adults teach many games in which the winners are those who stronger, faster, or tougher than the losers.
Most of the games that adults teach children are based on the premise that to have a winner there must be a loser. Games that keep score on a win-lose basis using a traditional scoreboard teach kids that they cannot be a winner unless they have evidence someone else is a loser. When kids believe that they can be winners by making others into losers, bullying makes sense.
The lessons of the win-lose scoreboard need to be balanced by using lessons from win-win scoreboards. When kids (and adults) experience games that keep score of the basis of how well one side does at working with the other side, the result is an expanded view of winning. They see that to be a winner in a win-win contest, they have to work with the other side. Kids discover that they can win together by cooperating with people on the other team. They also find out that they can lose if they cannot work together with others.
that beating an impersonal opponent such as time, distance, ignorance, fear, or the unknown is challenging and rewarding. They learn to win by being good at working with people who are different. And they discover that it is fun to take the risk losing together - and satisfying to defeat a problem and win together. here is a system of games - EnTeam games - that challenge players to work together to defeat problems rather than people. Players learn
See a few of the EnTeam games online at www.enteam.org
EnTeam games are not against competition. These games expand the concept of winning to include competition against problems. Kids learn that they win or lose in these games depending on how well they work with the kids on the other side. They win together if they can improve their collaborative performance - and they lose together if they cannot improve their collaborative performance.
Since 1995 EnTeam Organization has been developing, testing, and refining games that keep score of collaborative performance. The results show that when kids play EnTeam games they are more cooperative and fight less than they did before they played EnTeam games. Experience shows that when adults teach EnTeam games there is less bullying.