爱心传递慈善基金会
 
 
 
   
PLCF乡村少儿阅读推广志愿者培训材料-英文版
【第三部分 无情的“竞争”常常浇灭了学生的学习兴趣】

Grade-Level Differences in Classroom Reward Structures

Intrinsic academic motivation is killed off by academic failures. An important reason that such failures are more devastating with increasing grade level is that competition between students accelerates during the elementary years.

Competition is a way of life in many classrooms. There is grading on the curve, so that only a very few students can receive the highest grades. Worse yet, grades are often public and salient in the classroom, as when students “call in” their grades as the teacher marks them in the grade book or when students retrieve their papers from the “graded bin.” Finding one’s own paper in such bins results in exposure to the grades of many other students in the class. Thus, each student in a class knows how she or he is doing relative to others.

Many societal forces support such competitiveness. How many parents respond to their children’s report card by asking how “So-and-so” did, followed by remarks about how it would be nice if their son or daughter were like “So-and-so”? Local papers carry news about academic achievements in the school, for example, publishing the names of students earning straight A’s.

One result of this obsession with identifying who is smart and, implicitly, who is not is to undermine the academic motivation of many children. Classroom competition and evaluation foster what John G. Nicholls (1989) referred to as ego involvement. Success in the competitive classroom (especially relative to peers) implies high intellectual capacity (i.e., that one is smart, which is ego enhancing) while failure implies low capacity (which is ego diminishing). Since most students will not end up doing “best” in the class, feelings of failure, self-criticism, and negative self-esteem occur often (Ames, 1984). Many students come to expect that they will not earn top grades or be reinforced as much as other students. Such a system has high potential for undermining effort when success is not certain (e.g., with new task demands), for trying and failing leads to feelings of low ability.

One likely reason that there is a clear decline in academic motivation from the early primary to the later elementary grades is that comparative evaluations are less frequent and salient in the early primary years than in the later primary and middle grades (Harter, Whitesell, & Kowalski, 1992; Stipek & Daniels, 1988). With increasing age, children are more aware of the competitiveness in their classrooms (see Harter et al., 1992; also Schmidt, Ollendick, & Stanowicz, 1988) and of the implications of not succeeding. What is certain, based on research (e.g., Wigfield, 1988), is that by the middle-elementary years, paying attention to how one does compared to others affects perceptions of one’s own competency, expectancies about future success, and thus (potentially) school performance.

我要捐款

Donate Now
 
 
蒲公英乡村图书馆
 
 
过往项目