Photo Illustration: Amodhya Samarakoon
Competition is extremely beneficial for students to mutually improve. Of course, to create this competitive environment and establish ranks, students would need to share grades. A great way to combat the negative effects of personal grade sharing, would be for teachers to post anonymous lists of recent grades, such as tests. This would give students the option to see how they compare to their peers.
While announcing grades allows for competition and awareness of one’s rank among peers, those who are more sensitive to competition or academic stress should not have to be unwillingly exposed to grades. Often, grade announcements from particularly competitive students appear as outright boasts or, “modest brags.” Also, standards among many students vary greatly and when students apply qualifiers to each grade, such as a “good” or “bad”, the same grade could mean many things, depending on the student.
Attributing higher capability to students with higher standards creates a differentiation between “dumb” and “smart students. This divide lowers the confidence of students who may have lower academic standards than those of the very highest achievers. As a result, students with lower standards lack trust in their ability to improve and achieve .
Competition is set in place so that everyone can strive towards improvement–the true indicator of learning. Ideally, students would improve as they continued to advance in rank. In this way, students work towards their own goals, not those set by the school community.
For those who are motivated by competition, while some students may enjoy competing with specific people, anonymous grade postings by teachers would allow competition without