Used constructively, competition can improve a student’s enthusiasm and motivation. Competition can stimulate students; however, the thoughtfulness and quality of student work will suffer if competition is valued above all else. When using competition in the classroom, keep the emphasis on the importance of individual growth and personal goals.
Fine arts educators can ask the following questions to evaluate the appropriateness of competitions:
- Is student learning the activity’s primary goal?
- Are the rules and criteria for judging aligned with the standards
outlined in the Fine Arts TEKS and with the local curriculum?
- Will the competition challenge students beyond their current range
of skill and understanding, causing them to lose focus on discovery
and creative development?
Ultimately, each teacher’s approach to competition determines the value of competitive experiences. Competition can be a tool for engaging students in learning if teachers choose activities and events that support the goals and skill levels of their students.