How Much Competition Is Considered Healthy In Our Educational Setting?

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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.




20 thoughts on “How Much Competition Is Considered Healthy In Our Educational Setting?

  1. The thrust of the current educational system includes “being globally competitive.” That itself has to be redefined…
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and the follow. 🙂

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  2. Taught for fifteen years. I kept competition out of the classroom. When you deal with 30 kids ranging in IQs from 85-160 you have to find a way to challenge students without overwhelming them. I knew I had succeeded when one of my students panicked during a math test. His neighbor saw his head go down and in a clear voice he announced “You’ve got this Ben. Lets take it slowly. What’s the first thing you have to do?” I listened, the class listened as he did not give any answers but smiled and gave the step by step prompt I had used to introduce the material. At the end of one problem he said, “Just use the steps, man.” He went back to his test and his A and Ben got a solid B. At the end of the test the class talked about the situation. They felt comfortable working together. I had to tell them not to do that for other teachers. But everyone passed that year with solid test scores.

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  3. This is so true. I went to a really average high school and being top dog in academics did make me feel superior to everyone else, not just because I was full of myself but also because it was okay for everyone else to be under confident in their own ability. Youth are insecure enough and it was only on GCSE results day when I saw how many smart enough people had failed everything did I realise that the education system is not set up to bring out the best in everyone. Which is tragic really.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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