Motivating Art Works.

A Discussion of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Reward Systems

Karen Knight-Mudie


Paper presented at the A.I.A.E. Tenth National Conference, July 1990, Adelaide.


The personal value and effort that students inject into their art works could be undermined by schools that embrace the concept of art competitions without fully considering the effects of extrinsic rewards on students' learning. It is possible that many art teachers are not conversant with the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards and the effects that prizes may have on the students' approach to making art works when the locus of control appears external to themselves.


Years of dedicated effort are required for significant accomplishment in the production of art works. This means that discipline, practice, and intellectual and academic rigor are necessary ingredients for the making of art works. (Youngblood:1982), (day:1982), (Feldman:1982). Students of art need to commence acquiring these qualities throughout their total years of schooling.

A question may be posed regarding the teaching of art: is the objective of teaching art the making of artists, or the fostering of literacy in visual images? If we consider that a very small percentage of our students actually end up as practising artists, it is logical to suppose that our main student body ends up as consumers. This means that the effort directed towards making art works must have a rationale appropriate to the needs of the majority of students.

If it is acknowledged that visual images form a major component of our everyday existence, it becomes apparent that use and understanding of images is integral to our survival and welfare. Our world is predominantly visual. This does not mean that our duty as art educators lies in a single field of deciphering a "message" in each work of art. What it does mean is that art educators have the possibility of guiding students to the threshold of a diverse and complex means of expression that, while being individual, has a universality that defies categorization. No form of expression is devoid of ambiguity. But all forms of expression have the possibility of nuance that demands an exercised mind in the particular field to catch the connotation or implied meaning of the work. As Lanier (1987) pointed out, "Communication even with language is fraught with peril" (p.19), and Brown (1989) stated, "Because the search for meaning is directed through a search through common codes, meaning is always concerned with the process of interpretative restatement" (p.29).

Both Lanier and Brown highlight the individual nature of finding relevant meaning in any form of communication or expression. This brings us back to the use of images in the classroom and the reason why they are important. They are important because they act as a vehicle for expression. By expression, I mean an intellectual act requiring search, finding, sorting, and solution. This does not mean that only those making the works have the sole right on expression. Once a work is made it avails itself to the public for interpretation. This means that a new process of search, finding, sifting, and solution takes place. It is at this time that an awareness of, and familiarity with the process of making art works allows a student a closer identity with the work, and so may facilitate a more plausible interpretation. It is logical to suggest that those who have attempted to make art works will have an amplified view of the problems associated with media, subject matter, and execution. It is logical to presume that those students may have greater appreciation of the efforts of themselves and others. It is logical to suppose that any student of art wants to know what relevance the study of art holds for him/her. If a student is doing something that has relevance to a more rewarding lifestyle, it is worth pursuing.

The problem, however, lies with a definition of a "more rewarding lifestyle". This begs identification of external and internal rewards (Deci and Ryan,1987), and the best possible path to achievement of the desired reward. An "extrinsic reward" may be defined as avoidance of punishment or the pursuit of a valued outcome that is separable from the task itself. An "intrinsic reward" may be defined as the inherent satisfaction associated with certain activities that offer optimal challenge undertaken freely by the individual.

It appears however, that Australians have a peculiar heritage of competitive endeavour that arouses the gambling instinct of courting 'Lady Luck': the "outsider". From pioneer tales of fortunes lost at "two-up" to modern fables of tennis, sailing, horse racing, and the like, the notion of winning permeates our life. Another notion to be considered is the ease and frequency with which participants are wished "good luck" on entering an examination or competition. How many of us have thought deep and hard about the implications of those two words as we console the loser or 'failed' participant with encouragement of "better luck next time" or "what bad luck". In unthinking fashion we gently remove the subsequent responsibility of action from the participant, and dump it in the lap of "Lady Luck". From this perspective a more "rewarding lifestyle" could be deemed "a valued outcome that is separable from the task itself".

Current pressures for accountability in education may produce covert dictates towards the use of art production outcomes in the form of success in art competitions as a manifestation of achievement in art, with the concomitant reduction in attention towards the process of making art, learning about art and self-evaluation on the part of the student. It is possible that many art teachers are not conversant with the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards and the effects that prizes may have on the students' approach to making art works when the locus of control appears external to them.

The debatable nature of the effects of competition or non-competition on motivation in terms of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards remains an issue among many art educators. Discussion concerning this issue was evident at the AIAE Annual Conference in Brisbane in 1987. The National Policy on Child Art Exhibitions and Competitions (Australian Institute of Art Education, 1987) offers good reasons for encouraging the exhibition of children's art and discouraging participation in child art competitions.

The intent of the art process is to develop within the individual the ability to make internal judgements about personal work. Displays and exhibitions of student art work foster critical ability within the student. He/she learns to assess personal work as an end product of a learning experience that has relevance to the task undertaken. (Cooper,1987; Darby, 1987; Mittler, 1980; Szekely, 1985; Knight-Mudie, 1988). Criteria for making this self-judgement are normally well understood by most secondary senior art students who have elected to study art at the senior level.

In the case of exhibitions, the purpose of exhibiting work is not to win a prize awarded on the basis of the judges' preference or opinion regarding style or technique. Exhibitions encourage student participation and are visible proof of the achievements in art, craft, and design. Work may be included or deleted from an exhibition either at the discretion of the student or deferment to the advice of the art teacher.

On the other hand, when a teacher or student selects art works to enter a competition, there is more pressure to select work that has a chance of winning. Combs (1979), points out that competitions have the effect of making the competitors more alike. If goals and rules are similar, it follows that the competitors will produce works that are similar. This could be considered to conflict with the aim of art education.

The basic difference between competition and exhibition lies in the reward system offered, the extrinsic or intrinsic motivation of the student, and knowledge of the criteria used for evaluating the works. A competition offers a concrete prize to students and it can be argued that competition encourages extrinsic motivation. An exhibition does not offer a concrete prize and may be considered to encourage intrinsic motivation.

Many art teachers face a dilemma regarding the educational value of either competition or exhibition. Some art teachers and members of parent and community associations may see prizes as an admirable way to congratulate worth and encourage betterment. Others may regard exhibitions as a more appropriate method of achieving such status for art in a school.

An important question to be asked is: who is/are the judge/s? Works of art may be judged according to skill and aesthetic merit. The former can be defined to some degree, but the latter is the quicksand in which some 'experts' flounder (Rouse,1968; Youngblood, 1979). Aesthetic preference on the part of judges in art competitions is idiosyncratic to the setting. Rarely do judges disclose their criteria nor do judges attempt to systematically organize congruence in the exercise of judgement.

Given the variables of consumer values and individual articulation, the probability of disparate opinions in judging competitions is great (Rouse, 1968; Holmes and Zedeck, 1973; Osborne, 1984). This is the dilemma faced when art prizes are introduced into schools and the judge/s determine criteria for evaluation of the art works submitted.

McDonald (1988) questions the validity of the plethora of art competitions in Australia. McDonald suggests that the art competitions have become "like a horse race" with standards that "never seem to dramatically improve". Further he says:

We can see the inflated prestige of the art prize as related to the general tendency of 'late capitalist' society: the desire to quantify, label and contain everything within neat parameters (p.380).

Each year the number of entry forms for various art competitions appear to flood Art Departments of schools throughout Queensland. Among the most prestigious is the National Art Award, sponsored and organized by The Australian newspaper and the Commonwealth Bank. While the motives behind such a large competition may be "to support, develop and promote arts in Australia", this may be to the detriment of education through art.

In 1988 there was wide distribution of registration forms and entry kits for the National Art Award:

More than 24,000 registration forms and 5,000 entry kits were this week distributed to State and private schools and Commonwealth Banks throughout Australia following last week's launch of the 1988 National Art Award for Secondary Students. (Weekend Australian, 1987)

The $2,000 offered to the winner highlights the extrinsic nature of the reward. The response of the winner, who may be "baffled" at such success, emphasizes an acceptance of chance (Weekend Australian, 1988:8). If bewilderment is the outcome of achieving such a reward, the merit of such a reward must be questioned.

A corollary to the general acceptance of art competitions within schools lies in the possible interpretation of the end product of an art activity as being similar to a sporting event or a maths competition where a winner is obvious. This habitual pairing of a subjective area of learning and expression with an objective area of performance may be the reason why misinterpretation and ambiguity surround the endeavours of art competitions and art exhibitions.

The exhibition of student art work acknowledges each work of art on display and encourages critical appraisal by all viewers regardless of the value system the viewer may bring to the act of negotiation with the work. The work may be evaluated on its own merit and, ideally, the student artist may be consulted to provide antecedent data regarding the reason for making the work. This type of venue allows open discussion and offers a valuable learning arena for fellow students and members of the community. (Knight-Mudie, 1988).

According to the AIAE National Policy on Child Art Exhibitions and Competitions, (1987), an exhibition of student art work serves three purposes: sound educational purposes through facilitating rapid dissemination of ideas related to the media concepts and teaching strategies; participation in art activities and programmes; a visible avenue for educators, parents, students and general public to view the achievements of students in the making of art works.

Achievement in making art works may be experienced by students from two viewpoints: servicing an assessment stipulation; and/or fostering an internal feeling of satisfaction. Ideally both viewpoints can be accommodated. If the initial stimulus offers a challenge relevant to the individual, is within the skill capacity of the individual, and encourages experimentation with media, it is more likely that students will focus on the actual task for its inherent heuristic possibilities, with assessment following as a natural consequence.

Unfortunately, it is often the case in schools that assessment appears to be the initial stimulus, the motivation, for making works of art. Too often students worry about the final grade or extrinsic reward they will receive. Through misguided direction of emphasis it is probable that many students do not experience or understand a feeling of inner satisfaction and a realistic appreciation of their efforts.

Motivation and Its Effect on Student Approach to Task

Motivation may be defined as either self-determined or externally controlled. According to Deci and Ryan (1987):

Intrinsically motivated behavior is by definition self-determined. It is done freely for the inherent satisfactions associated with certain activities and with undertaking optimal challenges. ... Extrinsic motivation pertains to a wide variety of behaviors where the goals of action extend beyond those inherent in the activity itself. Persons can be described as extrinsically motivated whenever the goal of their behavior is separable from the activity itself, whether that goal be the avoidance of punishment or the pursuit of a valued outcome (p.1033).

Discussion focusing on the two types of motivation raises the question of autonomy and the reasons why and how students approach tasks. The notion of autonomy connotes an inner endorsement of one's actions and the sense that they emanate from oneself.

It is argued (Deci and Ryan, 1987) that rewards tend to be experienced as controlling forces having a functional significance that restricts self-determination in most cases. However, the context of the action may modify the effects of external goals on student motivation. If the teaching strategy supports student choice and decision-making, student enjoyment and challenge may be directed to the task for its own sake. Such autonomy-supportive environments facilitate a process of integration where the emphasis is shifted from the extrinsic goal to the intrinsic task. When students direct attention and effort to an external goal the cause of behaviour is attributed to the goal and may lessen enjoyment and challenge.

Thomas (1980) suggests that advocates of the back-to-basics movement employing achievement and reward structures within the school may not provide many students with a sense of "self-agency" or autonomy in taking action. Some high achieves may learn shortcuts to achievement rewards while those students with a disproportionate number of failure experiences in comparison to their peers may resort to a variety of failure-achieving strategies. In his study, Thomas (1980, p.216) argues:

... that not only are a sense of personal effectiveness and competence of equal importance to achievement as instructional outcomes, but that instructional strategies designed to enhance a sense of agency tend also to enhance academically engaged time, achievement, and achievement-related behaviors.

Thomas considers the provision for fading the use of external rewards that have not been found to be effective in leading to the sort of intrinsic "sense of agency" to ensure long-term learning.

Both achievement and attitudes appear to be positively influenced when the student engages in meaningful personal choice regarding the making of art works. The concept of personal choice underlies motivational characteristics, self-concept, and self-esteem that may be shaped by a student’s history of success and failure in and out of school (King, 1983). The importance of a study such as King’s lies in its relevance to art education. Her awareness of the need to foster a “strong sense of personal agency in individuals to help them counteract the growing forces of external control in our society” (p.189) is pertinent to a discussion of attitudes regarding art competitions and assessment where an external prize and marks may affect student motivation.

Studies conducted by King (1983) and Gerhart (1986) suggest that the basic need of self-enhancement is a built-in motivator. The type of evaluation strategy employed seems to play a major part in influencing students’ desire to continue with art tasks. Student choice and self-evaluation was seen to play a positive role for those students who were willing to continue with art tasks. The emphasis on the type of evaluation strategy could be considered with reference to Deci and Ryan’s (1987) autonomy-supportive construct and Thomas’s (1980) study of self-management and self-regard.

Continuation with a task has been identified as a factor providing evidence of motivation (Maehr, 1976). The major thrust of this study concerns continuing motivation that is identified as a separate variable and not as a necessary covariate of motivation level, as implied in immediate task performance. Continuing motivation is defined as “a return to a task (or task area) at a subsequent time, in similar or varying circumstances, without visible external pressure to do so, and when other behaviour alternatives are available”. (Maehr, 1976, p.448)

Maehr considers two important reasons for recognising continuing motivation as a pattern of education-related behaviour. Firstly, in a world that is becoming increasingly complex, the notion of education must be seen as a continuing thing. Secondly, end of term achievement may be significantly affected by the degree to which a student chooses to reconfront the school task outside the school context.

The implications arising from considering education as an on-going process relate to a view of school as a place where learning is initiated and fostered, not necessarily where total learning takes place. This also means that antecedent data relating to students may affect their approach to learning. Factors such as an individual’s perception of ‘self-as-cause’; an individual’s judged competence to perform a task; and self-identity in accord with the norms, ideals and possibilities of the group(s) with which the individual identifies, may affect the way in which a student returns to a task, or task area, relatively free from external constraint.

In an area of learning where heuristic approaches to learning are encouraged, Maehr’s investigation of continuing motivation may be very valuable. Visual problem solving allows a student to find solutions through a process of trial and error and self-initiated procedure. The environment in which this type of learning takes place requires a competent and resourceful ‘guide’ who nurtures the process of discovery and a sense of agency in students.

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

Higher quality of task performance and motivation in the absence of extrinsic incentives has been discussed by various researchers (Deci, 1971; Lepper, Greene and Nisbett, 1973). Findings suggest that subjects in an expected-reward condition show significantly less subsequent intrinsic interest in the activity (Kruglanski, Friedman and Zeevi,1971). It is possible however, that alerting students to task requirements may have an effect on their subsequent approach to the task regardless of task evaluation strategies.

An observation made by Deci (1971) points to the possibility that a person’s perception of different rewards may have different effects on the person’s intrinsic motivation. Money as a reward was shown to decrease intrinsic motivation whereas verbal reinforcement and positive feedback appeared to produce apparent increase in intrinsic motivation. Deci suggests that money appears as a control mechanism and points out the possibility that a person’s perception of different rewards may have different effects on that person’s intrinsic motivation.

Lepper, Greene and Nisbett (1973) debate the concept of extrinsic goals, in the form of monetary or other material rewards, as being the only tools to utilise in exploring the “overjustification” hypothesis. The “overjustification” hypothesis proposes:

that a person’s intrinsic interest in an activity may be undermined by inducing him to engage in that activity as an explicit means to some extrinsic goal (p.130).

Lepper, Greene and Nisbett’s study using nursery school children who already displayed an interest in drawing, shows that the nature of the extrinsic goal was of little consequence. Their findings suggest that:

such contractual techniques may backfire for at least those children initially interested in the activities presented in such a context. Demonstrating an overjustification effect in an educational setting, therefore, would suggest the need for greater attention to the possible side effects and long-term consequences of powerful systems of extrinsic rewards (p.131).

A study by Kruglanski, Friedman and Zeevi (1971) using a promised tour of a university department as extrinsic reward showed higher task performance and motivation by subjects in the "No-Incentive group". Those subjects in the "Extrinsic-Incentive" group displayed inferior performance, less enjoyment and less readiness to participate in similar projects in the future.

Amabile’s investigation (1979) of the effects of external evaluation on artistic behaviour produced some interesting discussion. The purpose of the study was to:

attempt a reconciliation of seemingly contradictory results by identifying those instructional sets under which extrinsic constraint might undermine creativity and those under which it might enhance creativity (p.223).

It appears that subjects in the “extrinsic constraint” evaluation conditions overall were rated lower on heuristic solutions to the art task than subjects in non-evaluative conditions, excepting those subjects who had been given instructions facilitating risk taking.

The implication for art education points to the nature of the task and the nature of the instructions given to subjects. It appears that “specific creativity instructions”, encouraging novelty and experimentation, negated the imposition of salient extrinsic constraints such as evaluation. The instructions given to the “specific creativity focus” group in evaluation conditions allowed a degree of ambiguity in the task and evoked a spontaneous response by subjects in the risk-taking group.

It appears that a specific extrinsic goal, such as external evaluation that does not encourage risk taking at the outset, could result in students producing ‘safe’ work directed towards the extrinsic goal to be attained rather than being prepared to experiment and explore. The notion of ‘safe’ work as discussed by Amabile appears to be congruent with Kruglanski, Friedman and Zeevi’s proposition (1971) that the presence of extrinsic incentives could result “in a tendency to perform the task in the shortest, fastest and most parsimonious way possible” (p.615). This depends on the student’s perception of self-attributed causes of behavior inherent in the task or extrinsic to it.

The operational force that compels a student to undertake any task is the object of a review of research methods undertaken by Bates (1979). To date this operational force has been identified as motivation, but the reasons underlying action have seemingly escaped agreement by researchers. The possibility of confounding variables, and the contradictory nature of much of the results reviewed by Bates (1979), appears to be partly due to the failure of researchers to commonly define intrinsic motivation and intrinsic rewards. Bates (1979) identifies two areas of neglect in methodologies of the studies reviewed. Few researchers have demonstrated that their rewards were actually reinforcing target behaviors, and little effort has been made to investigate the long-term effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation.

Bates's review (1979) shows that:

  1. When rewards have been made contingent only on participation in an activity, decreased interest is evident in students.
  2. Relevant, unambiguous, and infrequent social reinforcers may contribute to intrinsic motivation.
  3. When task performance is already closely associated with extrinsic rewards their removal may damage intrinsic motivation.
  4. Repeated pairings of an extrinsic reinforcer with a task may misrepresent reinforcer and task as being inherently inseparable and impair long-term maintenance of behaviour.

The implications of the research by Bates for this present discussion, point to the notion of dispensing rewards that appear to permeate our educational system. Token reinforcement has mostly been employed for sporting activities and learning areas of factual accumulation of knowledge. When students in a school environment participate in art competitions where a reward is offered to the perceived “best” this may involve misinterpretation of the nature of artistic behaviour.

Artistic behaviour involves the birth process of an idea that is unique to the individual. The uniqueness suggests that some existing methods of judging art products may be inappropriate in identifying the “best” path of delivery or the “best” product. Any competition involving artistic behaviour presumes a knowledge of judging ‘uniqueness’ that studies such as those of Rouse (1968), Holmes and Zedeck (1973) and Osborne (1984) have shown can lead to confusion regarding clarification of standards and identification of criteria used by judges.

This does not mean that art works cannot be evaluated. The type of evaluations may be the problem in many cases. This was seen with the Radford System of Assessment. The change in the Queensland Education system from the Radford System to the Review of School Based Assessment (R.O.S.B.A.) recognised that normative-based assessment was not appropriate in assessing individual achievement through comparison. To nominate “best” achiever appeared to negate the efforts of those students whose personal “best” appeared inferior to the norm. The problem was exacerbated in areas such as art where a degree of personal interpretation is recognised as integral to the production of art products.

On the other hand, sporting activities and areas involving factual accumulation of knowledge have an established goal evident in a “finishing line” or correct answers that are established and agreed upon in advance. This can be seen demonstrated by the number of awards for sporting events and math/science competitions prevalent in schools.

Until a common dependent measure of intrinsic motivation is agreed upon by researchers in the field, Bates (1979) suggests that careful consideration of initial and subsequent student behaviour is essential when external rewards are used. This caution supports Maehr’s point (1976):

A major goal of future educational research must be to determine more precisely the conditions under which external evaluation may have the effect of an extrinsic or an intrinsic motivator (p.453).


Feedback and Its Effect on Learning

Reinforcers such as verbal and symbolic feedback, and wrong-blank feedback produce faster acquisition and more resistance to extinction of children’s conceptual learning.

Wrong-blank feedback is that which follows an incorrect answer and so disconfirms an incorrect hypothesis held by the student. (Barringer and Gholson, 1979)

Barringer and Gholson suggest that when various types and combinations of feedback are compared, the poorest performance results from tangible feedback that is administered for correct responses. The explanation is that positive and token feedback does not afford the opportunity for a student to confirm or disconfirm his/her hypothesis. Giving right-blank feedback may acknowledge a correct answer but does not probe the understanding of the problem by the student. Right-blank feedback may be compared to winning a prize in a student art competition where the entrant is often oblivious to the reasons for winning. (Weekend Australian:1988)

The implication of Barringer and Gholson’s study is that high incentive-value token feedback is inadequate when lacking informative verbal feedback. The use of informative verbal feedback may relate to the anticipation a student experiences when approaching a task.

Age Differences: and the Relationship to Token Reinforcement

O’Leary and Drabman’s (1971) review of token reinforcement programs in the classroom, stresses the mental age of the child ad the ease with which the child can comprehend various aspects of the token system. The study highlights the influence that tokens have on modifying the behaviour of young children.

A later study by O’Leary, Poulos and Devine (1972) points out that many older students and most adults have outgrown the need to receive tangible reinforcers for appropriate behaviour. Natural reinforcers such as praise and affection paired with appropriate behaviour seem adequate reward for the student.

The above studies raise questions about the allocation of prizes to senior students for art works. If tokens can be seen to modify the behaviour of young children, the implication is that the continuance of token feedback perpetuates an attitude that relies on token rewards. On the other hand, the removal of tangible reinforcers replaced by natural reinforcers appears more appropriate for more mature students.

It seems logical to suppose that senior art students may be disadvantaged through the continuance of tangible reinforcers. Prizes and awards may negate and hinder advancement of critical attitudes towards personal appraisal of work. Verbal feedback that appraises and gives encouragement for appropriate behaviour can replace the security perceived in token reinforcements, and establish an avenue for the growth of personal confidence and “self-agency” integral to artistic behaviour. Exhibitions and displays of student art work could offer more appropriate methods of fostering intrinsic motivation than art competitions.

Teacher Attitudes, Behaviour and Training

Another dimension to the role of rewards and reinforcements highlighted by Good (1972) is the question of teacher attitudes and teacher behaviour affected through use of concrete rewards in the classroom. It appears that the training teachers have received influences their approach to the use of concrete rewards. Certain teachers may need to use concrete rewards because they do not have the skill to reinforce appropriately in other ways, but the “addiction” reinforcement may cause problems for both the student and other teachers at a later stage. If external reinforcement is used in one class, what are the implications for both student effort and subsequent teacher attitudes and behaviour if no external reinforcement is used in the next class? (Good, 1972) The use of external rewards, the determination of success and failure by achievement rather than effort, and the fact that standards of success and failure are set by someone other than the student, calls into question the influence of teacher approach to instruction. (Thomas:1980)

Environment and Its Effect on Student Behaviour

Environment is the focus of a study done by Deci and Ryan (1987) where contexts relevant to the initiation and regulation of intentional behaviour can function either to support the autonomous development of the student, or to control student behaviour through exertion of external pressure toward specific outcomes. Deci and Ryan’s study (1987) investigates contextural and person factors. It is suggested that autonomy-supportive teaching strategies may endorse students’ actions and facilitate an awareness of “self-agency”. Even when rewards are received in an autonomy-supportive environment, the interpersonal context in which the rewards are administered affects the functional significance of the reward. Students perceive themselves as more personally involved and in control rather than at the mercy of an external force.

Situational contingencies, motivational and performance processes, and outcomes are the focus of a study done by Harackiewicz, Abrahams, and Wageman (1987). The study contrasts normative evaluation against a more task-focused evaluation of subjects’ performance. The researchers’ area of focus concerned the interest in the task and consequent performance of the task evidenced by high school students. Harackiewicz, Abrahams, and Wageman (1987) found that the contextural setting appeared to play an important role in the way students approached the task. They found that evaluation would reduce interest relative to reward and feedback under a normative focus, but not under a task focus. Although the offering of a reward allowed an opportunity to earn something that symbolised competence at the activity in a normative focus, the positive effects of symbolic rewards appeared to be mediated by the subjects’ sense of their personal ability to perform well.

Harackiewicz, Abrahams, and Wageman (1987) point out that “The effects of evaluative contingencies on interest may depend on whether they emphasise task mastery or the assessment of performance relative to others” (p.1017). It is suggested that emphasis on task mastery may minimise performance anxiety in evaluative situations rather than allow the distraction of normative comparisons. Results demonstrated that contingencies communicated at the outset of task engagement might enhance subsequent interest and enjoyment independently of the task competence information provided at task conclusion.


A study of the literature, dealing with the related areas of motivation, evaluation and judgement of art works, provides insight into the evaluative process while highlighting the degree of diversity found in the backgrounds of art students, art teachers, art critics’ and consequent approach to the making of art works. The literature indicates that the context within which the work is produced plays an important part in evaluating the work. In the school environment this should take into account the objectives of the task and the criteria used to determine if these objectives have been met. The latter may involve identification of teacher attitudes towards the teaching of art, the participation of students in art competitions or exhibitions, the terminology used in the teaching of art and evaluation of art works, and the necessity of devising appropriate strategies to ensure desired outcomes.


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