Does it help to get the best from your students if you have a real energy to push them hard to do 'better' than everyone else? Or, is my own competitive nature being fuelled by discussion replies?

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Hi Colin,

I think learners should be taught about competitiveness in terms of 'the real world', however, in the classroom I feel learners should be, wherever possible, working as a unit and a team. It is of great importance that all learners feel they are seen to be 'as good as everyone else', if not by their peers then most definitely by their teachers.

Role play's of competitive scenarios may be useful to the learners but discussions and reflections of the experience should be dealt with as an equal collective.

Introducing competitiveness in a class could create issues and develop tension. Having said this, if a teacher feels that they know the class well enough and a safe competitive atmosphere is created then I don't see how this could be a problem.

After all, it's not about being better than others, it's about reaching your PB (personal best) whilst knowing what you need to work on and also what you have to offer that makes you different from the rest. Perhaps getting learners to find their 'edge' in comparison to other learners would be a good way to introduce a healthy competitive environment. E.g. 'He's brilliant at picking up dance moves, but I'm great at adding dynamics'

... maybe?! :)

Hi Colin,

I think a little bit of friendly competition can be used to our advantage in the classroom environment. Off course, as Emma points out, we have to be careful to ensure that all our students feel valued and are working towards their own personal best. When our students leave our classroom, we want them to be equipped with the skills they will need to survive in the workforce where competition can be fierce.


Hi Colin

This could go either way depending on the learners as individuals, some learners may like a bit of competition and others may feel threatened by it which could result in a lack of creativity or even behaviourial issues.

I feel once you get to know your class then it will enable you to discover whether this specific group contains learners who can deal with the competitive side.

However as a previous FE learner i was very competitive with other pianists in my group, i wanted to be the best and would be very competitve and would work overtime to develop my skills on the piano.

so yes competition is good but needs to be applied carefully.

Hi colin,
Within my sector, health and beauty, on the whole they are taught in and as a group, because in the real working environment they need to learn about working in a team however, there are a few competitions set, ie who can sell the most because once again in the real working salon this is the norm, with bonus and commissions all being offered as an incentive.
So yes I think a little bit of competition is good and can be really helpful to a learner as long as its in the right context and not pushed too far.
Hi Tracy,

Thanks for your reply. It's good to 'keep it real', and to reflect the world we are educating the students to inhabit, but being careful not to be too prescriptive however.
Hi Colin,
Yes definitely, as mentioned before, I feel keeping it real helps the learners to understand the industry more, and become better therapists.
T x
Hi Colin, to be honest. In all competitions there are winners and losers and this is a lesson worth learning but in my classroom I would prefer an environment where everyone feels they are in a safe place to learn and an inclusive situation exists. I would hate it if students felt they couldn't do or say things without fear of making mistakes. A little competition banter is healthy, but sometimes it will go to far and there is enough of competition outside the classroom.

Hi Colin,

I observed a 'summative assessment revision' lesson where the teacher split the group into pairs and tasked them with researching and making 6 multichoice questions on the subject of H&S (not exactly an exciting subject) Second half of the lesson all groups works were combined into one quiz which of course everyone wanted to win. When your questions were being asked you didn't answer but were evaluated on there quality, inventiveness and originality by your peers.

It was great way to build teamwork and research skills, as well as help the students revise and give the teacher a good view of general knowledge wihthin the group. Outcome of summative assessment was 44 out of 45 passed, more than half of which at merit and distinction level. Resit student was a regular absentee.

In short, yes teaching using a competitive element has a place but probably not every week. Used as a monthly formal assessment task, it could probably become a regular activity that students look forward to and want to win!!



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