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Lesson Plans

RE: Art reward and competition

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Rich Stephen J Contr ACC/CEVP (
Fri, 14 May 1999 10:28:43 -0400

I agree with your thoughts on intrinsic motivation. I would rather not
have grades at all at the primary level. If you got to be the students'
teacher from primary all the way through till they graduate I would agree
about your thoughts on secondary too. Unfortunately, by the time a student
begins secondary they will inevitably have had a teacher introduce extrinsic
motivation to them. The very system of grades fosters extrinsic motivation.
I don't agree with it, but I think it would hurt more to take an extrinsic
reward system away once introduced. Imagine the following scenerio:
Student is asked to draw. -S/he's happy just to draw for drawings sake.
Student is given a $1 per drawing. -now the motivation has changed to
Student is no longer given money, but still asked to draw. -"why draw?" the
student asks.
Maybe I'm mislabeling my favorite drive. What drove me to excellence in
art most of all was to be the best. Peer competition made me work until I
was sure my artwork was the best in the class. I wanted to be accepted as
such too. But a drive isn't a reward, is it? I could only think of
extrinsic rewards that would help nurture peer competition though. I like
your idea of a critique versus physical awards much better. It's more
objective, less intrusive, accomplishes my peer acceptance objective, and
takes the pressure off of the teacher in coming up with something good and
different to say about each student's art - especially the blander peices.

-----Original Message-----
From: Salvador Wilcox [salvador_wilcox]
Sent: Friday, May 14, 1999 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: Art reward and competition

Rich, I understand the distinction you are making. however, children don't
need teachers to tell them that their work is good enough. what we want to
foster is their intrinsic motivation rather then our telling them their work

is valuable. if you want to do something that celebrates their work, why
not have each class display their favorite piece of the year and then have
the class discuss each piece. this way, the student gets feedback from the
other students (30 opinions rather than one teacher's). plus, it gets the
student to reflect on the work. this is "rewarding" to the child's esteem
but more important, it is a good way to get children to learn to reflect. i

agree with you about competition in the elementary. but i extend that to
the secondary level as well. we need to foster cooperation rather than

salvador wilcox

>From: Rich Stephen J Contr ACC/CEVP <>
>Subject: FW: "Best Art Student" Award?
>Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 09:13:01 -0400
> If it's part of a school-wide award giving program, I understand.
>At my school we all gathered in the auditorium when awards for each
>subject were handed out. I would just make sure that someone is
>overseeing the process so each kid only gets awarded once. That
>way awards can reach more students. Adding a 'Most Improved'
>catagory if you haven't already would double the amount of students
>receiving awards.
> If you're just doing it for your classroom and you have the time,
>a better award system might be to think of a unique award for each
>student. 'Creativity Award' and 'Good Colorist', etc. Kids are
>smart though, and can tell if you assign them some random thing that
>doesn't personally apply to them. Perhaps you could ask the listserv
>for catagory ideas so you won't reach that point. Combined with a
>quick award you can mass produce, you may be able to get all of that
>done in a reasonable amount of time. I would just make a nice award
>with marker and paper - leaving room for name and title - and photocopy
>it. I think the idea of the award is more important than the
>physical appearance of the award.
> I would also stay away from end-all catagories that puts students
>on top of each other. "Most" and "Best" are good at doing that. I
>believe peer competition a good thing at the secondary level, but
>have no strong feelings yet for elementary. Does anyone else have
>insight into that?
>janine shafer wrote:
> > What is your opinion & suggestions for criteria for "Best Art Student"
> > at the elementary school level?
>Ugh! Don't do it! How would you like losing the "Best Art Teacher" award
>your district? Now imagine you're around 10 years old and doing your best,
>you lose anyway...feel bad? C'mon, you'll get over it!
>Best wishes,

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