Interesting article. I think it raises some very important points about teaching methods and using the best methods to encourage learning and progress.
I echo Kara and Brigitte's statements.
I am confused on one area though. You made reference to a competitive writing program that you attended and indicated later that you prefer the cooperative approach to teaching. You then showed examples of negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement in teaching as a juxtaposition of sorts and linked these approaches to different results.
Based on this quote:
The competition game hasn't changed in the 24 years since I graduated. Personally, I believe cooperation is a much more effective way to teach. I'm not letting students go off on each other any more than I can let them crank shihonage on the new guy on the mat.
I need to ask whether you see the "competitive" approach to teaching as encouraging or promoting "letting students go off on each other" or letting people "crank shihonage on the new guy".
Just some thoughts.