When teaching a class of individuals that have different strengths and weakness as well as an assortment of skills and talents, it can be difficult for teachers to find a wide range of activities that cater for all these different ability levels in the classroom, enhance their students’ learning and capture the imagination of the class. One effective method that they will occasionally use is a competition. Here is an overview of some of the ways that competitions can help students to achieve.
Motivation to try
One of the main reasons that competition can help students to achieve is that it motivates them to work hard and try their best. Provided that the competition is fun and doesn’t put too much pressure on them, the desire to do better than their peers can be very exciting to many students. Teachers will often find that their pupils produce some of their best work when competing against others. It is not only about competing with others, but also about improving themselves and aiming for higher things.
Gives a goal
Often, students feel that they are given work to complete that is pointless and has no end goal. This is usually not the case, but is how the situation is perceived. Taking part in a competition gives the work some purpose as they feel that they are working towards a goal and have that they have a target to achieve.
Although many people disagree with the use of competitions in the classroom, it does reflect the reality of real life situations. When a student leaves school, they will come across many situations in both their day-to-day life and in the workplace where they are in a competitive situation. Therefore, competitions in the classroom not only help them to achieve in the classroom but will also prepare them to achieve in their adult lives.
Alternative and fun learning method
A simple reason why competition is effective in helping children to achieve in school is that it usually involves a fun activity. When children are having fun in their learning, they are much more likely to achieve their full learning potential.
Morals and values
Competition can help students to achieve personally as well as academically. They learn about concepts such as winning and losing, playing by the rules, being fair and the value of putting in your best effort. These are all social skills that will be important to them throughout life.
Learning new skills
Through the process of taking part in a competition, students may learn a number of new skills that will help them to achieve both academically and personally. The exact nature of these skills may depend on the type of task that is involved in the competition. Some such skills could include, research, social skills, working independently, working as part of a team, communication, ICT and decision making. Through learning these new skills the student may also discover a new talent or strength that they were not previously aware that they possessed.
Although there are opposing views about the benefits of using competition in the classroom, there are many ways that this can help students to achieve. Not only do many students find this a fun way of learning, they have the opportunity to develop new skills and may become more motivated to work.