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While competition plays a vital role in the lives of students to pursue excellence, ‘unnecessary’ competition could be very dangerous in the educational environment since it leads to fear, anxiety and disappointments among students.When this occurs,students often worry that they would not measure up, disappoint or not live to the expectations of their teachers,family or peers.
Many argue that competition in the educational setting motivates students to do better,push them beyond their personal limits thus enabling them reach a new accomplishment.But psychologically,competitions in our classrooms these days can not achieve the above because of the unhealthy mode it is exhibited by students. Students suffer from low self-esteem as a result.It distracts talented students from learning ;to an extent that they become so much focused on performing better than their peers and surpassing previous records. Students in this era often lose sight of the fact that not everyone wins or receives a trophy and it’s difficult to put up your best under constant pressure from family,friends,teachers and one’s self.
Students who find themselves routinely winning become full of themselves. They see no need to put in much effort since they’ll always win at the end of the day. This results in development of performance goals instead of mastery goals: the student’s desire would only be to succeed in order to probably outperform peers, prove that one is intellectually good or even promote family’s image.
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Students who become preoccupied with winning end up losing despite putting in their best.They begin to see the world as an unfair place and may likely give up when faced with academic challenges.They begin telling themselves, why put in much effort when you’ll lose anyway? This often makes them see school as a threatening place to be.
Parents,teachers and friends are mostly the root of ‘unnecessary’ competitions in schools. Most especially, parents and teachers compare their ward’s academic performance, character and approach to specific situations to others which makes them lose sight of their personal abilities and uniqueness. With a constant urge to be ‘on top’, students create unnecessary tension and enmity amongst themselves thereby neglecting their true purpose and roles they would have to play in one another’s lives to attain fulfilment and success.
The IQ of students which varies from person to person, has remained a non factor consideration in our educational system. Education should hence be seen as an avenue to learn and develop not as an avenue to be constantly on top of your game.