Competition Education, and Assessment

Competition in Education can be reformed, by better understanding the ups and downs of competition through the course of history, and how it can better aid today’s society.

Structure of this essay was very similar to the Garcia et al paper, as it provided a topic sentence or introduction, and then used examples that are relevant to support that argument. It also addressed many similar points as Garcia et al, such as the idea that competition is apparent in every level of society.

It however changed the dynamic of how we interpret competition. Garcia et al aimed to use experiments and numerical strategies to better determine the origins of competition. However, Nelson is interpreting the historical value, such as, the connotations of words and the association we place behind them that shape the very nature of competition. This paper examines the presuppositions that come with competition, clarify the very concepts, and the validity. Validity is one of the interesting factors that distinguishes this paper from all the others, as it questions its own validity of the facts as it is displaying an understanding and an example from both sides. Although it has provided both sides to the argument, it concludes with a hopeful ending for education reform, as it has displayed examples that can be used as tools to re-establish an already functioning system separate of competition.

Competition is not necessary, you need collaboration for competition to work. Which I believe is a valid point because if you don’t see yourself in the same field, it’s not relevant, and holds no validity. Which are some of the core concepts we learned in class on how to obtain and maintain attention of an audience. This is an valuable argument to introduce as this article is printed by a university which has created  more targeted examples to the target audience, the faculty and students of the university eco-system. It was interesting that they used Nietzsche as it describes people’s ability to attain, and the connection that is has with envy, which is an interesting root of competition, from historical theory observation. It can be observed, that the examples targeting each faculty; business, history, visual arts, literature and more. By providing successful examples of the kind of surrounding environment that can best produce a non-competitive rivalry, it allows creativity and curiosity to become separated from competition; the sole focus to win.

As my classmate mentioned in their own blog post , the impacts of competition in art, I believe that if it resonated with both of us, that this brings great validity and credibility to the facts presented by Nelson. It makes me question the extent of “numbers” in competition mentioned in Garcia et al’s paper, because when it is more numbers with collaboration, more agreement is produced, an example of this is where if more people believe in an idea, it’s validity and agreeability are enhanced.

I found it most interesting how they used competition to examine art. Art is seen as beyond a price value, yet in society we place a numerical value, which undermines the very idea of art as being “priceless”. This is a main argument of the paper, which I believe has made it very relevant to today’s readers, because it has better explained how in our current society we are valuing people with a system that is not a proper representation of their efforts. Or the fear and anxiety of being a failure can lead to other harmful factors such as depression, fear of rejection and more. I think that this was also supported by the example of the learning of students in correlation with failure.

This paper introduced past teaching methods that excluded the used of competition; pass or fail, and no number scores. Many people can relate to this from personal experience. In addition, the paper highlights what circumstances where competition is helpful; curiosity-driven learning, or negative; manipulation,  which is valuable in become conscious and aware. I believe that by discussing it and bringing this fact to the conscious mind it can better be dealt with and the system itself can adapt to the new social pressures.




  1. Great post @indiacoates. I was also intrigued by the author’s use of Nietzsche in the article. However, you mentioned that the author reflected on the envy that Nietzsche proposes to exist with competition and how it focuses on attainment through envy rather than learning. You mentioned it can apply to other areas as well, but facilitating a non-competitive environment can produce creativity and curiosity. How do you think creativity and curiosity are manifested and how can we measure the level of creativity and curiosity that an individual may pose?


  2. @adamlittle5856 Thanks for the comment. I think creativity and curiosity are formed with external pressures: time, socially, emotionally, physically, and pathologically that are formed from significant events in the person’s life. However, I think that competition minimizes the amount of creativity because it alone does not provide a space for natural inspiration to materialize. When it’s unnatural I think that it minimizes the value, because as a society we value a mirror of truth and the choice of something that is commonly restricted, and therefore seen as higher in value. I think that the value found in each piece is subjective, because one person’s truth is more relatable than it is to another. Art conveys ideas, and if one does not agree with those ideas it is seen as insignificant and dismissed. However, a standard that can be comprised is from what our core value of society deems as valuable, hence the amount of retrievability of those values found in a piece of art can increase its value. I think how Nietzsche ties into this argument of the measurability of art’s creativity is how easily that idea can be created, to being one of a kind, as well as replicated (although something is replicated to look like the original and is easily achieved, the fact that the idea that the original piece was new, and wants to be replicated is valuable). This is my personal opinion of how I think value can be measured, but this very concept that this is what I think, a common decision can never be formed. If it is impossible for the world to use one meter system (imperial and metric), how can art ever be quantified.


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