I don't really see that entering shows is ever a problem. If someone gets copy work into scholastics at a national level, it gets kicked out. You can't expect judges (who are just human and don't know every image out there) to do a great job all of the time. (a good job is usually defined as picking the work that we like;) Just remind them that judges do not always choose what we believe is the best work. I have watched jurors at regional Scholastics and at the regional judging for the Ohio Governorís Youth Art Exhibition. They are artist and college professors. Some of their choices amaze me, others I agree with. To demonstrate to the students how something is judged and how different each judge is, show one class 5 really good works from another class. Have all the students rank which ones they like best on a sheet of paper, and have them turn it in. Read the results and see how many of them agree.
I donítí teach them to create good artwork aimed at getting into shows, but I do expect to get good work that I do enter into shows. With photography I never have a problem about entering work that is a copy of something published, but I will sometimes have my drawing student make a montage of pictures and draw it, they make changes where necessary. I donít think of this as anything other than appropriation, and since they are only taking parts, and then changing them I wouldnít have a problem entering it into a competition.
I have been able to build a good program because the only thing my administration reacts to are awards. I have always told my students that if I pick a work to enter into a show it is because I think that it is good enough to win the top award, and that is what really matters. I do see the disappointment when they don't get in, but I remind them that I thought it was good enough to win. I also relate a story about one of my students entering the same show that I did. She got 2 photos into the show and I got none! She was the only high school student in the show! The judges did not know she was a high school student.
I have rambled much too long, but continue to encourage your students to enter shows, have your own shows, anything that will show the kids works and encourage them to continue.