stephanie jones

Another perspective on competition

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

When is competition beneficial for people, and why is the stress associated with high-stakes testing not the same as good competition?

You should check out this NYT Magazine article, it’s a bit long but worth at least a good skim. Here are some simplified highlights that most of us know intuitively, but perhaps haven’t seen altogether in one text:

– Stress is experienced differently by different people

– Some kids (people) do not get stressed in testing situations

– Some kids (people) get stressed to the point of paralysis in testing situations

– Because of this difference, some kids (people) are perceived as “more capable” in testing situations (where it “matters” in school) and some are perceived as “more capable” in non-testing situations (where, in this context of high-stakes testing as THE measure of worth, doesn’t “matter”)

– Short-term stress in performance situations when a person is highly motivated by the activity (swim meet, chess game, public performance, etc.) can produce positive performance adrenaline

– High-stakes testing is not in the same “category” as the competitive situations where short-term stress can be beneficial

Enjoy!

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