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Lesson Plans

RE: Art reward and competition

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Michelle H. Harrell (mmhar)
Sat, 15 May 1999 16:13:12 PDT

I have mixed feelings on the practice of awards being given on the basis of
"best" or "most talented" because it does more damage for the many who are
not getting the award. For this year's 8th grade award's night, I am giving
2 awards. The "Personal Excellence Award" is for the student who has shown
tremendous growth in his or her own work and exhibits a dedication for
improvement. The "Beacon of Light" is being given to a student who has kept
a positive attitude and outstanding character in my class (This particular
student had 3 pots explode or crack in the kiln but continued to work
tirelessly until she got the hang of it). Awards night is a tradition at my
school and I wanted to reward student on the basis of their work ethics
rather than how well they draw or throw a pot.

About extrinsic motivation- it's not always a bad thing. I never thought I
would go into a career in art. My high school art teacher encouraged me to
apply for a small art scholarship and I actually got it. I changed my major
to art and the rest is history. It's the same idea as process vs. product in
an art program. There should be a balance between art contests, art shows,
and a strong focus on the student's personal development. Not awarding any
student or ever participating in a show or contest can deprive a student of
a boost to their self-esteem that would encourage him or her to continue in
art. It should just be done carefully and in moderation in regard to the
many students not receiving the award.

Michelle H. Harrell
North Garner Middle School
Garner, North Carolina
/ \
( ) "Art is the form of the picture that has come
! ^ ^ ! into being through the nerves, heart,
^! * * ! ^ brain, and eye of man."
! \ ^ / ! -Edvard Munch
( ( 0 ) ) 1907
\ --- /
\ ! ! /

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