This study sought to explore the often controversial role of competition in academic settings by interviewing 11 high school students, about half of whom were in an AP English course. The interviews asked the students to describe how they feel competition plays a role in their classrooms and personal learning experiences, and also how competition has influenced their motivation and achievement-related outcomes. Results indicated that all students had engaged in competition academically and it was viewed both positively and negatively, despite the fact that students’ description of specific experiences with competition were largely negative. Four dominant patterns emerged that depended on the combination of students’ perceived competence about the task and the stakes involved. Perceptions of these either led students to disengage from the competition, diminish the importance of the competition, stress about it, or enjoy it.
Kowalski, Monica and Christensen, Andrea L.
""No One Wants to be a Loser:" High School Students' Perceptions of Academic Competition,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 31:
4, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol31/iss4/2