It seems to be almost natural for humans to compare themselves to other peers of close circles in related atmospheres, which can lead to healthy forms of competition and collaboration morphed together, as one in an active educational approach. I find Robert Nelson and Phillip Dawson’s argument on competition within education to be well versed as he takes a historical approach towards the blend of competition and people coming together as a means of collaboration. His focus on the Renaissance thriving from competition from within, between artistic peers being a healthy form of learning competition. In fact, comparing the encouragement and collaboration between peers from these forms of competition would not be an exaggeration from his point of view. By using Vasari’s biographical example of artists constructive critique and engouement among peers displays the differences between the systematic views seen in grade and exam formats in education systems. In contrast to this example, Nelson denounces the systemic “outside” forms of competition based in education and claims that they do not provide more incentive for learning or creativity. This is interesting as this strongly relates to Garcia’s social comparison model in competition. She argues that we tend to compare ourselves in modern society with closely linked peers in related environments. To what extent does modern forms competition in education come from the top down rather than from down up? Competition has now become institutionalized everywhere including educational settings and it is time to consider the effectiveness of the benefits it brings to learning.
We also see this weeks supplementary reading in Chen’s research paper about Game based learning, where she used interactive video games for educational purposes on children, one with competition, and the other without. The one without competition had instructions to help children learn the solutions in a less time restricted manner. Hence the results found that children where more attentive and willing to learn through non-competitive versions of the video game, displaying that strict competition and learning are not synonymous. As mentioned in venellopegrace7719′ reading response, competition in education settings “causes of severe mental health cases, for instance, stress, anxiety and depression”. It is rather interesting however to see that institutional forms of competition in education are relatively new and do not relate to the same mentality as ancient societies had in regard to learning. Rather the lines between competition and collaboration in ancient learning environments become more ambiguous and tied together compared to the more systematic grading contests we see today. In Chens experiment the ways of non-competition were more similar to the “competition” seen between artists in the Renaissance era. They had instructions, interactive methods without time restrictions, constructive criticism to compare their performances, yet without systematic grades or definite failures. Hence, with these examples, it brings one to suspect the effectiveness of modern institutional learning methods we see today.