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The present thesis studies Olympic Education in Europe, its perspectives challenges and opportunities. Olympic education is the educational process aiming at treating young people in accordance with the new Olympic values, taking into account the elements of modern civilization. It first appeared, as a term, in the 1970s (Mueller, 1991)
The founder of the Olympic Movement, Pierre de Coubertin considered himself as a teacher/educator and his goal was to reform education (Mueller, 1994). De Coubertin's goal was to include sports in the school program, this way education would include body and mind according to the principles of Ancient Greeks. Based on his experience of public school education at rugby, he realized that young people can develop moral power through sports and extend this ability to their life. Although, he did not use the term "Olympic Education" but "sporting education" which was also the title of his book. He also supported the expansion of practicing sports to adults and older people (Coubertin, 1918a)
The Olympic Education Program includes a set of actions that highlight the cultural and educational value of Olympic Games. These actions relate to knowledge, sport and social skills, valuesâ€‹â€‹, attitudes and behaviors.
They combine the ancient and modern history of the Games with
learning skills related to the development of students' in the school and social environment. They refer to the sports spirit developed through the centuries.
Olympic Education connects the past with contemporary educational and cultural values, combining the physical with the spiritual dimension of man.
The familiarization of students with timeless educational values is sought through games, events experiential teaching and sporting activities, implemented in a creative educational environment. Long term, the socialization, communication and the peaceful coexistence of people and harmonious interpersonal relationships are sought. Olympic Education aims to inform and educate young people to participate actively and honorably in sports and enjoy and learn from them as athletes, spectators, volunteers or employees; even to develop skills that will be used creatively to
their daily lives. The Olympic Games have the power to inculcate in the students the principles of accepting the different, the recognition of human rights; of solidarity and cooperation. The content of the pre-Olympic education program aims at fostering a positive attitude towards exercise and sport as a lifestyle, fair play and the true spirit of the Olympic Games. Olympic Education seeks to make citizens informed about the Olympics, Olympism and sport; citizens willing to participate and not be just passive spectators.
The researcher has chosen the specific topic because academic literature in Olympic Education is quite limited at the moment. The importance of Olympic Education for European countries lies to its equality among people aspect. European countries have become multicultural and Olympic Education will reinforce the harmonious relationship among people coming from different nations, culture and religion.
The first chapter analyzes the basic principles of education since they form the basis of Olympic education. Plato at his work "Politeia" (The Republic) attempts to analyze the meaning and essence of justice and defines education since the organization of human thoughts springs from education which then guides people's actions and helps them to be fair. The definition of education according to Plato is "the healing of spirit," namely the treatment of thought "... and when the body is sick, it needs medicine, when the spirit is sick, it needs education."
The second chapter studies Olympic Education and its historical background. This chapter analyzes Coubertin's philosophy on Olympic Education and Olympism. Coubertin is important since he was the first, as mentioned above, that introduced Olympic Education concept.
Olympic Education principles, teaching methods and organization of school environment are studied in chapter three. Olympic Education is pervaded by specific principles and methods to be successfully implemented in schools.
Finally, Education and its present condition are presented in the next chapter as well as the European Fair Play congresses whose aim is to integrate sport as part of culture and reinforce fair play as a part of sports cultur.
Aim of the thesis
To expand further academic literature in Olympic education and show its importance for education. The methodology followed will be systematic research of literature review.
Chapter One: The basic principles of education
Thought and its three components
Plato in his work " Politeia" (the Republic) attempts to analyze the meaning and essence of justice and defines education (culture) because from education (culture) springs the organization of human thought which then guides his/her actions and helps them to be fair. The definition of education (culture) according to Plato "the healing of spirit," namely the treatment of thought "... and when the body is sick, it needs medicine, when the spirit is sick needs education (culture)."
Plato defined the meaning of spirit and stated that "... the spirit consists of three components: the logic, the desire, and the anger."
The healthy state of mind according to Plato exists when "... the logic controls and balances desire and anger" and to clarify the concepts of control and balance he gives the following example: He likens the spirit with a cart that is pulled by two horses, one that is blind and represents desire, the other one which is a crazy and represents anger and the coachman who represents logic and who should keep the control and the balance between the two horses so they tread the right path which is the path of virtue.So far, three key concepts are defined such as culture, thought and healthy thought. These concepts are crucial for the conscious effort to maintain internal equilibrium by any man who wants to have enhanced quality of life and personality. It remains to be delineate the path of virtue to know the direction that healthy thought should follow.
Virtue is analyzed and defined in all its extent and depth by Aristotle in his Ethics Nikomacheia. Virtue, according to Aristotle is in the "middle", between two extreme points and therefore, extreme acts or "badness." To clarify the way virtue is delimited, Aristotle gives the following example: bravery is a virtue and is in the middle between timidity and boldness, which are extreme acts or "badness". And when someone is brave, the coward will call him brazen because he is better than over him, and the brazen will call him a coward because he is beneath him" ... Respectively, one could characterize the economy as the virtue that lies in the middle between stinginess and extravagance, whereas the miser will call the thrifty waster, and the waster will call the thrifty miser.
The virtuous man according to Aristotle is the one who tries to walk the path of virtue. Therefore, everyone who wants it is able at any time to make the effort and be virtuous. The virtuous man is not infallible, but is the one who learns from his mistakes and tries to minimize them.
Aristotle believed that justice is the leading virtue and includes all virtues.
Virtue as defined by Aristotle as the middle and as an attempt for being virtuous is clearly demarcated and leaves no room for doubt. It should therefore, be noted that there is a whole process to track the middle or even the middle of a natural object. A surveyor, for example, to find the middle of a segment he uses a process that involves measuring angles and distances, mathematical and statistical analysis of the measurements to arrive at the following conclusion: "the middle of the straight segment here (pointing at a nail or peg) with 95% probability of error is less than one hundredth of a meter. " The process of identifying the midway of virtue due to the fact that everyone may subjectively perceive a different midpoint lies with the widest possible participation and consensus which democratic institutions ensure. This way, democratic institutions are founded philosophically and they consist a process of finding the midway of virtue.
The question is how and why the current deterioration of education is reached and how the downward trend can be reversed. Let's start with the second question where the adoption of the principles referred above, as an initial step, they essentially put education (culture) in the right position which is the healthy organization and operation of thought based on logic that plays an important role in the internal balance of the individual by controlling desire and anger and by having virtue defining his route.
Virtue is therefore, directly related to the acts of man and is a prerequisite for the man to develop a qualitative personality. Virtue is an effective filter in the bombardment of information received by the modern man and guides him to unravel the healthy ideas and thoughts from the extremes and vices. Unfortunately for the modern man and strange as it may seem few teachers at all levels globally know what virtue is. This becomes more important if one considers that virtue is the dividing line between man and the savage perceives. Therefore, the size of the degradation that exists in the education is immense.
In order to be virtuous it is not necessary to know the definition given by Aristotle. It is just enough to obey the voice of one's conscience, or to have lived in an environment of education and culture where culture is cultivated. Such an environment, both in Europe and in the cradle of civilization Greece constantly shrinks and people who obey the voice of conscience constantly dwindle. It should be noted here that when the man reaches the point where s/he does not take into consideration his/her the voice of conscience, then it is possible that s/he may have suffered a spiritual rape.
Virtue along with balanced thinking can help the modern man ground on philosophical bases many of the current issues that concern him. Philosophy, on the other part, develops and promotes the right speech and it helps establish democratic institutions in a simple way.
The next step after adopting these basic principles is to restructure curricula at all levels of education and training of teachers which is a very important issue.
Much work in this direction has been made by the German philosopher Werner Jaeger and his three-volume work "Paideia" analyzes and presents the accumulated knowledge on education of older generations.
The first question requires much study and research by experts to be answered, and a rough explanation here can be attributed to two reasons: (A) the information overload that exists today, which results in the interruption of the flow of accumulated knowledge in the field of education and culture from the older to the younger generations. This overload creates confusion so someone is cut off from his/her roots and tempts the person so his/her desires will become gigantic desires while the thought and desire obey to the logic. (B) Many of the dead ends the modern man has in front of him/her are due to the fact that s/he has stopped to deal with philosophy, or more properly, modern philosophy has been characterized by introspection thereby, harming itself and could make more use of the accumulated knowledge and advance to provide a resolution background in issues arising from challenges.
Chapter Two: Olympic Education - Historical Background
2.1 Peace Education
The principles, valuesâ€‹â€‹, ideals of Olympia, traveling to centuries, as another Ulysses, after several adventures, returned and formed the solid foundation on which it was relied and then became the ideological framework of the modern Olympic Games.The concept of Olympism was established by the leader of the revival of Olympic Games,Pierre de Coubertin who is also the founder of the modern Olympic Movement. He was influenced by ancient Greek tradition and by trying to combine the Greek civilization with Christian ethos, he gave another dimension in physical education and sport generally referred to a set of proposals-values â€‹â€‹or, alternatively, humanitarian ethics.Durantez noted, "in his opinion, sports are not only a more convenient, fast and efficient means of configuring the individual, but also the most immediate "vehicle" of communication,understanding and peace of the people ".
However,Pierre de Coubertin, as well as subsequent scholars of the Olympic Movement, failed to give a clear and precise definition of Olympism.
According to Pierre de Coubertin, Olympism is defined as a state of mind that comes from worship of trying (understood as an attempt to overcome) and eurhythmy and is based on five points: Unity of mind and body, skills, impartiality, fair play, peace.
By summarizing the various approaches of scholars, Olympism can be seen as an ideology (in the sense of a system of ideas) of a pedagogical, social and political aspect which is based on strong faith and devotion to a set of rules and practices. It can be seen as a moral, global system of conforming the man, an integrated system of education.At the Olympic Charter, references are cited for the nature and purpose of Olympism, but not its definition. In the second fundamental principle it is stated: "Olympism is a philosophy of life,that promotes and combines at an harmonious ensemble the virtues of body and soul. Linking sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of a good example and respect for universal fundamental moral values â€‹â€‹".
Mastora notes: "Olympism is a universal social philosophy, a set of principles that emphasize the role of sport in society. The main objective of this philosophy
is to contribute to the harmonious development of individuals, particularly to
young people, not only in physical improvement but also in mental and intellectual development. In this context, Olympism is an educational concept and has humanitarian and educational mission".
The international sports and educational community, from the beginning of the modern Olympic movement until today, having many conferences, symposia and books dealing with the subject of Olympism with special emphasis on education and the great educational value of sport. Olympic education is set up as an educational process in many countries and is a strong factor of social education. In Greece, just before the Olympic Games of 2004, the Ministry of Education announced the program"Olympic education" for primary and secondary education. The Olympic Education is defined as an "educational process aiming at shaping behavior patterns of young people, according to the eternal values of Olympism, taking into account the elements of modern culture and the demands of today's society. It connects the
historic past with modern educational and cultural values and combines the cultivation of the body with the spiritual dimension of the man ".
2.2 Coubertin - Olympism and Olympic education
Coubertin suggests that "Athletics and the Olympic Games are the manifestation of the cult of the human being,mind and body, emotion and conscience. Will and conscience, because these are the two despots that fight for domination, the conflict between them often tearing us cruelly apart, because we must achieve equilibrium " (Müller, 1986b:418). Coubertin was reluctant to give a definition of Olympism but he wanted people to think of the value of the human body.
Olympism concerns the value which are much more than the physical strength required to take part in sport (Malter, 1996). This principle forms the basis of athletic / sport education which is anthropologically based (Grupe, 1968, 1984, 1985; Meinberg, 1987, 1991). Deriving from Coubertin, the paraphrase of the concept of "Olympism" is the following:"Olympism combines,
as in a halo, all those principles which contribute to the improvement of mankind" (Coubertin, 1917:20).
Coubertin with its concept Olympism aims at all people regardless of profession, age, sex, nationality and race. Its main focus is to bring good will to all people under the condition that they are committed seriously to the human race. Olympism according to Lenk (1972) is "multi-tolerant" and is not subject and does not allow ideological conflicts.
"Olympic education" works the opposite way from other disciplines, namely it wants to develop the whole individual, therefore, it is based on the basic values that consist human personality. According to Coubertin, Olympic Games are a "celebration of the universal human spring" that takes place every four years and everybody either a participant or a spectator have to be ready for it (Müller, 1986b:288).
His understanding on how to train an athlete that participates in the Olympic Games is based on the following: "In order for 100 people to develop their bodies it is necessary for 50 to practice a sport, and in order for 50 to practice a sport it is necessary for 20 to specialize; but in order for 20 to specialize it is necessary for 5 to be capable of outstanding achievement" (Müller, 1986a:436).
Therefore, sports education included everyone as soon as they wanted to have a personal experience. There was no contradiction between Coubertin's education model and Olympic games since from the beginning he had already combined them. In 1897, when the second Olympic Congress took place in Le Havre, the attendants found out that they did not deal that much with the organization of the next games but with the promotion of sport education in schools. Although, the Olympic Games in 1900 and 1904 were very unsuccessful, Coubertin insisted and used the 3rd Olympic Congress that took place in 1905 in Brussels to propose models of sport education in schools and in everyday life.
In 1912 at the Stockholm Olympic Games a breakthrough was achieved and Coubertin talked to the Universities by participating on "Psychology and physiology in sport" Congress that took place in Lausanne in 1913.
His colleagues were dealing with the Olympic Games and the international sporting relations however, his participation showed how ambitious his educational mission was (Müller, 1994). His motto was that "We must reach the masses" (Müller, 1986b)
In 1918, he said : "It cannot be enough that this Pédagogie Olympique - of which I recently said that it is based simultaneously on the cult of physical effort and the cult of harmony - in other words,on the taste for excess combined with moderation - should have the opportunity to be celebrated in the eyes of the whole world every four years. It also needs its "permanent factories"(Coubertin, 1918a).
The above sentence is the first one where Coubertin refers to "Olympic education" because he was sure of the need of it as well as of the strength of his ideal.
Olympic Movement was his tool for promoting Olympic Education. In November of the same year he wrote "Olympism is not a system but an attitude of mind" (Coubertin 1918b). He was suggesting that "Olympic education" despite the traditional one where sports were not included in the school curriculum, included everything.
However, in 1921, Coubertin did not gain the support of the majority of the IOC when he tried to include sports education in the workforce.
Before the First World War, Coubertin created the Olympic Institute in Lausanne, which was providing sport education and other subjects to prisoners of war of Belgian and French origin. He was always calling for the building of city sport centres based on the model of Ancient Greek "gymnasia" and he was pointing out that sports are democratic since there is no inequality among people (Müller, 1986b:592-593).
Coubertin want sports to be part of people's daily life, he wanted people to have the opportunity "to adapt the good and bad aspects of his own nature to exercise"
(Coubertin, 1920:223) and to lead his/her life based on this experience. As he said in his speech in 1925, people should not expect to just watch sporting idols but to be part of sports (Coubertin, 1925).
Coubertin never stopped exploring new educational schemes and this is something he did up to the rest of his life. In 1925, he set up in Lausanne the Union Pedagogique Universelle that was organizing events related to the educational goals of the modern cities. In 1930, he made the draft of a Charter of Educational Reform which was transferred to all Ministries of Education but he did not get any response (Müller,
In 1926, he launched the Bureau International de Pédagogie sportive (Müller, 1975b:80). The Bureau published various books and an annual bulletin. Coubertin wrote a lot of articles and books (1100 articles and 30 books) (Müller and Schantz, 1991).
Only a few people followed him from the IOC and his main criticism was that sport leaders did not follow the Olympic spirit but were interested only in new records.
The educational point of Olympic ideal became known when sports amateurism was discussed for quite a long time.
Coubertin was interested in the moral part of the athlete, a part that Olympic Education would construct. Coubertin always wanted to have a a Centre
d'études olympiques. This came true in Berlin in 1938-1944 under the direction of Carl Diem and the financial support of the Reich (Müller, 1975b:108-111).
In 1961, the International Olympic Academy (IOA), declared ancient Olympia in Greece as the centre of Olympic education and is committed to Coubertin's ideals (Müller, 1998).
It is astonishing to notice that Coubertin's program has survived all these years and nowadays, it exists in many countries all around the world and is well harmonized with the Olympic tradition.
In 1966 National Olympic Academies appeared, 70 in number and their presence gave more emphasis on the Olympic ideals in schools and in public (Müller, 1994, 1997)
In 2000. IOC Charter refers in many occasions in Olympic education.
Â§ In Charter (Article 2) it refers in the combination of sport with education as the base of Olympism.
Â§ In Article 6, it is stated that the goal of Olympic Movement is the creation of a better and more peaceful world through sport education
Â§ In Rules 2,6 and 7 is stated that the IOC is dedicated in sport ethics and fair play and in Rules 2, 14 and 15 it states that the IOC supports IOA and all institutions that are committed to "Olympic education".
Â§ In Rules 31, 2.1 is stated that the IOC Charter obliges the promotion of Olympism in all educational levels by the National Olympic Committees and through National Olympic Academies the adoption of initiatives such as "Olympic education" is obligatory.
The Fist and Second World War as well as the Cold War impeded the ideal of peace which is a basic ingredient of Olympism. Events such as the boycotts at Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 blurred the Olympic ideal but at the same idea, they showed the need of Olympic education.
The National Olympic Committees recognized the need for "Olympic Education" and a basic reason was that they wanted to increase the credibility of the Olympic Movement which was endangered to the increasing commercialization.
Between 1961 - 1998 various seminars were organized by the IOA on Olympism and these seminars acted as stimuli for many countries to introduce Olympic education.
Among them, in 1966, the National Olympic Academy of the German NOC offered school and university competition on Olympic issues since 1984. Since 1988, it has developed Olympic education programmes of various disciplines.
In 1986, fair play was recognized as an important part of Olympic education and its target groups apart from schools were sport clubs, sport association and the general public.
The Academy also offered seminars for teachers which were supported by education ministers .These seminars aimed at training teachers to transfer the idea of Olympic Education. Teachers have been particularly interested in the Olympic Movement which is a topic that is covered frequently by media.
Despite the fact that Olympic ideas may not be easily attained, the ideas are not obsolete.
2.3 Olympism and Olympic education in modern schools
Coubertin in his essay "L'Olympisme à l'école. Il faut l'encourager!" (1934) writes his thoughts that were dominant at the end of his life. Teaching the concept of Olympism without giving concrete practical examples is needless. His retrospective (1935) "The
philosophical Principles of modern Olympism" can be understood only when the value of Olympic education and its results as a product that lasted for years is shown. If it is needed to define "Olympic education" then Coubertin is the starting point since nothing before Coubertin was existing. Therefore, the IOC Charter embraced Coubertin's principles. In the case of Olympic Movement, there was the danger that external influences will supervene issues of content. Implementing the Olympic ideal in schools was not difficult since students are aware of Olympic Games. Coubertin's vision on Olympic ideals should be retained, however, it should follow modern era and be reviewed accordingly.
The features of Olympic Education can be summarized as follows:
1. The concept of developing people harmoniously;
2. The concept for reaching human perfection through a combination of artistic, scientific and sports achievement;
3. Sport activities should be related to the principles of equality of opportunity and fair play. People should be determined to fulfill the above. Amateurism, an idea that was ignored, is also part of it.
4. The ideals of goodwill and peace among nations together with the ideas of respect and tolerance among individuals.
5. Promoting emancipation in sports.
The above educational features stem from Coubertin's thoughts and writings, however, at first glance they seem to be too theoretical for implementing them in schools. How can these be implemented will be discussed below.
Regarding the first concept of harmonious development, it should be noticed that education of the young people should combine mind and intellect i.e. Olympic education is mental and physical education. Its aim is to convince young people that sport is an integral part of life and by exercising physically enriches life and the balance between body and spirit helps people acquire a sense of identity.
However, according to UNESCO, Coubertin's vision of making physical education a mandatory part of school curricula has not been applied in 50 countries.
It is also important to see how school sport education is compared to other disciplines and the ways that exist to improve the hours attributed to it and improve its quality. For example, school sport days are important for pupils regarding the promotion of the sense of community.
School sports days are as important as Olympic Games since Olympic games act as a model on a global scale whereas school sports days, if they are organized properly, can become important areas in school life. The idea of harmony can be enhanced if sport activities are combined with music and art in general so as to give an aesthetic sense in sporting competition.
Regarding the second concept of human perfection it should be mentioned that all people want to do their best. Olympic Games are actually a proof of this superior human achievement. Olympic Games can be compared to Nobel Prizes that show human superiority in sciences. However, arts, for example, are not suitable for this type of competition. People want to do their best and compete other people whereas people emulate each other.
Olympic records encourage young people to become better, to exceed their personal boundaries,not to be satisfied with mediocrity and to set a role model.
This strive for human perfection is credible only if perfection is achieved by independent means. Technological advancement such as genetic engineering etc. that is responsible for artificial self-perfection is an exploitation of the young. This is in accordance with Coubertin's sayings who saw the specialization and regarded it as a danger to the proper development of children according to their age.
Article 2 of the IOC states that Olympic education is addressed to everyone, poor students and handicapped included. The purpose of Olympic education is to promote a lifestyle where physical achievements are an integral part of it. According to the Olympism principles, experiencing such an achievement from the individual, it helps the development of every athlete's personality and not just the development of top ones.
Olympic values are better understood in the framework of sport whereas fair play is not. Olympism is based on European culture i.e on the culture of Christina West, however, this kind of values exist in other cultures, religions and social systems and they form the foundation of people's life. Olympic education emphasizes the practice of sports based on fair competition.
Students when practicing sports but also in other disciplines and in their personal life must learn the following:
Rules in life and in sports should not be broken;
They have to practice fair play in all aspects of life;
They have to use fair play in sports and in their personal lives so that the pressure they have in school life and later in their work life will not influence them.
For implementing all these, there is no need to have a supervisor since people have to commit voluntarily and be personally endorsed to fair play. However, for many modern participants of Olympic Games do not have these ideals and in addition the Olympic Charter does not make any provision for it.
Olympic Education teaches people that sports have not lost their primary meaning which is striving for perfection, always in the sense of practicing sports at an amateur level. Modern influence of business and the mass media has reached a point whereas athletes are no longer free and that they are considered as products.
From an educational point of view the idea of practicing sports at an amateur level remains relevant.
Olympic value includes the idea of peace apart from the idea of fair play. Actually, at the idea of peace most of attention is being paid. Olympic internationalism includes the following and can be taught in many different ways. The aspects are:
Olympic internationalism promotes comprehending the various different cultures of nations;
Efforts are made in familiarizing people with the types of sports played by others;
It wants to make people familiar with the culture of the country organizing the Olympic Games;
It aims at promoting and helping sporting contacts as well as contacts on a personal level among individuals.
In Germany almost all schools are multicultural. The school is a miniature of the world whereas all languages are spoken. Olympism is international, is part of the global culture and it is not affected by races, money or religion. The Olympic Games are the biggest global peaceful meeting which takes place every four years. Nowadays, Coubertin's belief and ideals on global peace and education based on peace is more important and real than ever.
In order to be credible the Olympic Movement needs to commit to an egalitarian and emancipator approach.
Coubertin's basic principle of "all games, all nations" should be the starting point. This principle promotes equal rights among nations, among sports among races but also among sexes.
The applicants for organizing and hosting the Olympic Games should show that they are committed to environmental protection, but also the issue of equality in sports is also called into question.
In the school environment, some important lesson should be taught and these are the following: acceptance and tolerance for the opposite sex, acceptance of the various different types of physical education and students' and pupils' development of their responsibility during sport practicing.
The need to bring "Olympic education" in schools should take into consideration all different school disciplines. Sports education is part not only of club sport but also a part of the practical experience of young people and children. In Germany, for example, the main focus in elementary schools is on acquiring general knowledge, language, music, art and in some cases on religious education. The secondary schools have a broader aspect and in its curriculum includes social sciences, foreign languages and biology. The topics that concern the Olympic Movement can be part of the various school disciplines however, it is better to present them as part or as an educational project that has multiple disciplines.
Olympic exhibition is another way of attracting students' interest. Students' interest will increase prior to Summer and Winter Olympics and especially during the Olympic Games. Regarding children, particularly those that are six-to-twelve years old are very attracted to Olympic themes. Pupils should be involved in arguing in a reasonable way about the Olympic Movement and this is particularly desirable when students get older since when they grow older they tend to spend more hours on TV. Therefore, this can be a way to reach an agreement on Olympic values which students should approve.
Many scholars and Gessman, in particular, stresses that Olympic education must be related positively with the Olympic Games. Someone would argue that this can be self-evident but this is not the case since, nowadays, the Olympic Games due to their commercialization and dopping issues are not taken educationally seriously. However, although the above issues are negative examples, these cannot harm Olympic values as an educational idea.
As everyone knows, the ideals cannot be achieved what can be achieved is a compromise of them. Therefore, it should be noted that there should be a re-thinking of the fight for meaning.
The question that is posed has to do with what kind of educational models can be formed by the Olympic Games. People watch the Games, they are part of them as athletes but in either case they are together in a friendly way. The venue of Olympic Games is a symbol of universalism. Olympic records are a symbol of people's efforts towards physical perfection. This symbol when it is combined with respect among people and fair play then in this case sports people are a role model and an example of people living together in serious and critical situations.
The venue and other ceremonies of Olympic Games give a specific meaning to Olympic Games i.e. Olympic records are particularly important and significant. According to Gessman (1992) and Schantz (1996) Olympic Games, based on the above, should be considered in a critical way. This way, the danger of underestimating "Olympic education" and degrade it to the level of improved sports education is avoided. Some of the values mentioned above, however, are part of teaching sports and can be effective in sports education even without referring to Olympic education.
A typical Olympic curriculum should show what Olympic is and in addition it should present Coubertin's ideas in a modern way. The educational
Chapter three: Olympic Education
3.1 Teaching Olympism and Olympic Values
It is not easy to teach moral values to children since this is a complicated process that involves every part of children's life. The key factors in educating children in traditional cultures are the family, the church (religion) and the community. Still, these factors play a key role. However, in most countries nowadays, schools are responsible for teaching these values. This is not an easy task i.e. teaching children positive values since they are under the influence of television, the world wide web, and population movements due to migration.
The school curricula in North America since the 1960s was influenced by the theory on moral development of Lawrence Kohlberg. This theory was further developed and became a manual for teachers that were focusing on teaching children aged 8/9 to 11/12 years old (Hersh et al., 1979). This manual included the information below:
The focus for elementary school children should be on teaching cooperation and fair play. At this age, children develop their ability to comprehend other people's perception on the world.
Teachers by creating moral conflict they help children to develop their abilities on moral reasoning and reach higher levels of their own thinking. This can be done when children have to face and deal with real and complicated moral problems and conflicts.
According to Binder (1995) there are two learning process that can help children 8-11 years old to develop their own thinking on moral issues and these are the following:
There is a section that involves talking since this is the most important factor in resolving moral conflicts.
The second process concerns the change of roles and be in "other people's shoes". It is true that children of this age are more selfish, they tend to look the world from their own point of view. By using role playing and games children can develop this ability. Actually, when it comes to games and teaching strategies for exploring fair play there are more than sixty activities. The talking section of each of these activities, according to Romance et al. (1986) encourages pupils to discuss on moral conflicts.
Gibbons et al. (1995) mentioned in their research on the influences on the moral development of children that when a specific educational program is designed on moral development then there are changes on the moral behavior of children. The findings of this research coincide with the findings of other researches that show that the development of moral growth in children is not automatic but a result of continuous and planned school curricula that are focused on it.
Gibbons et. al's (1995:254) wrote: "Although the products of this study were highly visible, the processes by which these changes occurred were less discernible" (p. 254).
The "less discernible" part is what it has become the subject for the school curricula theory that deals with moral development.
3.2 Teaching Methods
Olympic Education, as mentioned above, has been implemented in many countries of the world. In the specific section, the case of Greek educational system and how Olympic values are included in Greek school curricula is taken as a case study.
As described above, Olympic Education is the educational process that aims at teaching youth the Olympic values taking into consideration the values of modern civilization. The program of Olympic Education includes a set of actions that show the educational and cultural value of Olympic Games. These actions concern knowledge, athletic and social skills, attitude and behavior. They combine the ancient and modern history of the Games together with the learning of skills required for pupils in the school and social environment. The actions refer to the athletic spirit that was developed throughout the century in Greece but they are further evolved. Olympic Education relates the past with modern educational and cultural values by combining physical fitness and the spiritual dimension of man.
The familiarization of pupils with temporal educational values is pursued through games, shows, experiential teaching and sport activities that are materialized in a creative educational environment. In the long term is pursued the socialization, communication, harmonious existence of people as well as harmonious interpersonal relations. Olympic education aims at informing and educating children and youngsters to participate actively and honestly in sports, enjoy taking part in them and be taught by sports as athletes, spectators or even working for them. Olympic education helps them to develop skills that will help them in their daily life. Olympic Games have the power to transfer to pupils the principles of accepting the different, of recognizing human rights, of solidarity and cooperation. The content of an Olympic Education progam aims at developing a positive attitude towards exercise and sports as a way of life, learning fair play as well as the true spirit of Olympic Games. Olympic Education focuses on preparing citizens who are informed on Olympic Games, Olympism and sports, citizens willing to participate and not just passive spectators. The above summarize the philosophy of Olympic Education. The implementation of its activities is more multidimensional than just transferring information. In addition to teaching children on Olympism values, teaching should incorporate the following basic principles: offer experiences of success and at the same time be pleasant and suitable for everyone, each pupil should find activities that correspond to his/her preferences and abilities.
Children need to be entertained and gain personal satisfaction from their participation in the activities of Olympic Education. Hence the activities must be presented in such a way as to give them the opportunity to show their talent to progress and develop confidence in their abilities. The pupils should, in addition, know the beneficial effects of the Olympic Games. At the same time, they will also learn to control every activity by utilizing their critical thinking, knowledge and skills. It is necessary to be helped, so their choices and actions to reflect their preferences, and simultaneously to
develop a sense of responsibility and team spirit.
The pursuit of the Olympic education program is to develop the right policy in the school environment so the students will be initiated through the actions in the history and the values â€‹â€‹of Olympic tradition to understand issues related to ethics in sport
to gain experience of non-widespread Olympic sports, to develop techniques and skills associated with controlling behavior in sports and in everyday life, to understand the importance of volunteering for the success of the Games, to form a positive attitude to sport and Olympism through innovative activities that promote participation, initiative and creativity, to gain experience and knowledge about the beneficial effects of exercise on health.
In addition, the program of Olympic education promotes the attainment of specific objectives, such as encouraging schools to adopt a proactive policy for:
promoting the Olympic ideals
promoting knowledge on issues related to the Games, avoid violence in stadiums, honesty and the right of non seclusion
developing and promoting the concept of volunteerism,encouraging pupils, teachers and parents to recognize the Olympic Games (in case of Greece the Olympic Games in 2004) as a national issue of collective responsibility. In addition, the proactive activity concerns encouraging teachers of all disciplines to engage actively in the program, so as students understand the scope of the Olympic Games and the ideals associated with them through the prism of other subjects,the connection of schools with institutions of the wider social environment related to sport and health aiming at creating conditions for continued cooperation.
In the success of the program, the following will contribute to:
Selection of original and enjoyable activities for children
Determination of specific short and medium term objectives
Permanent and versatile control for continuous improvement of the program and redefinement of teaching methods
The methodical collection of material related to contemporary Olympic Games and the Games of Antiquity (photo material, art, books, etc.)
Organizing meetings among schools, teachers and relative bodies for exchanging opinions,consultation, problem solving and communication or enlargement of the program by taking advantage of school excursions and championships and by cooperating with teachers of other disciplines in the frame or outside the school program.
Organizing activities related to the aims of the course
Understanding the basic principles and values of Olympism (fair play, respect of rules etc.)
The pupil should develop critical ability regarding a number of issues relative to the ancient and modern Olympic Games such as the enlargement of the Games, the cultural and political dimension etc. In the case of Greece, the pupil should have understood what was meant for Greece to take over the organization of the Olympic Games in 2004. It is also important the pupil understands that difference is part of nature and it is a human right. The Greek student should also understand that the success of the Olympic Games in Greece would be a result of collective effort.
Volunteerism and its comprehension is a dimension of human activity and more specifically:
The pupil should be in a position to understand the benefits, the costs and the obligations related to volunteerism.
The pupil should understand the conditions, the factors and the dimensions of volunteerism
S/he should comprehend the factors that hinder its development
S/he comprehends that dealing with modern social problems is part of collective responsibility and presupposes the existence of a spirit of cooperation and willingness to offer.
In case of Greek pupils, they should understand that helping in preparing the Olympic Games 2004 is a personal issue.
Regarding physical activity the pupil should also be familiarized in a practical and theoretical way with sports that are not that popular in his/her country. S/he should also appreciate physical activity and its contribution to leading a healthy way of living by:
Adopting an active way of life that allows him/her to attribute the maximum of his/her activities
Appreciating interpersonal relations that may derive from his.her participation in the physical activity and the feelings s/he gets from it
Understanding the importance of regular physical exercising for leading a healthy life
Realizing his/her skills in the various types of physical activity.
Learning to develop new skills.
The Olympic Education can be easily integrated in the educational process because:
It is perfectly in line with the general and specific objectives of education. It promotes values â€‹â€‹that contribute to the strengthening of relations among people and world peace.
It is based on the country's national heritage and history but the modern principles of pedagogy and philosophy expand and upgrade the role of the school as a factor of training and culture that involves social actors in the educational process. It encourages parents and citizens to engage actively with school issues.
The Olympic Education contributes significantly to physical education and general culture of the student, because it focuses on student behavior and activities that promote knowledge in an experiential way, while helping to develop important skills. Moreover, it contributes to the promotion of active lifestyles and values â€‹â€‹related to health.
The Olympic Education Program promotes knowledge:
on History and Folklore
on social and moral issues of the modern Olympic Games (gigantism, doping, politics, etc.)
on the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
In the Olympic Education program, the student is the central figure. Olympic Education is the means through which experiences, practices and knowledge from all academic disciplines are coordinated.
The Olympic Education program is expected to play an important role in promoting the Olympic ideals, and help young people to develop important personal and social skills (teamwork, confidence, solidarity, respect and acceptance of the rules of fair competition). It is however, only one of the tools that can be used to promote these values. Many other opportunities offered by the school may, with equal effectiveness, be exploited in promoting behaviors related to these values â€‹â€‹and ultimately support the program.
Such targeting requires the endorsement of Olympic Education as an organic part of the official school curriculum, which interacts with the overall goals of the school. Olympic education at school is not limited to the teaching hours or the official program. The messages received by students in their daily contact with the wider school environment are equally important with those they accept during the course.
It is therefore, suggested a holistic approach to the activities of Olympic education within the school to ensure consistency and duration of their impact on students. This involves the exploration of possibilities in all aspects of school life, always with a view to promoting the Olympic ideals of knowledge in Olympic Games issues and the regular participation of students in physical activities and sports.
Aiming at promoting the values of Olympism and the creation of a positive image for the Olympic Games, the schools should:
Promote activities related to the Olympic Games throughout the year (e.g. exhibitions, lectures, festivals, promotion of an Olympic record man etc.).
Create within and out the school such an environment that I will encourage the active participation of pupils (e.g. volunteerism, creation of school team works, production of brochures etc.).
Create a framework which will encourage the participation of teachers, pupils and parents in physical activity and sports helping at the same time the students to develop knowledge, skills and attitude that will encorporate the values of Olympism.
Implement during school hours but also out of school, activities (athletic, artistic, cultural) that will correspond to the needs and interests of all children including the less capable ones in sports as well as the children with special educational needs as well as immigrants' children.
Provide moral and material support by increasing the opportunities for acquiring knowledge and practical experiences through pleasant activities
Cooperate with the pupils' families and social institutions for the development, implementation and assessment of programs, exhibitions and action for the pupils and their parents.
In the teaching methods and ways, first, there will be discussed the basic directions and teaching principles.
In the Olympic Education Program, the following guideline can be seen:
Based on the creation of a strong theoretical background for students on issues related to the Olympic ideals and the Olympic Games. This will be achieved with the approach of original issues that are harmonized with the cognitive development of
students and pre-existing knowledge (from elementary or high school).
It uses teaching methods focusing on the students, while the teacher plays the role of a coordinator. The organization of working groups and lectures, the distribution of responsibilities in organizing events, exhibitions, theatrical performances etc. ensure the active participation of all students through dialogue, initiative and argument.
, It approaches in an experiential way the teaching content (e.g moving and visual activities, organizing events and seminars, etc.) to ensure worthwhile experience, development of creativity and knowledge. In addition, the proposed program is organized in such a way so as to enhance the teaching and role of the school as a cultural institution, and to support the implementation of the general aims of education.
It gives emphasis to the training of teachers of physical education from specialists for implementing specific actions to ensure the program's effectiveness.
It proposes the organization of school and extracurricular events in cooperation with parents and the local social factors. It expands the role of the school by bringing together the organizations that will play a key role in the success both of the program and the Olympic Games (in case pupils' country organizes them). The school becomes the link among parents, students and society by proving its role as a "cultural institution".Ï„Î±
It ensures the continuous updating and improvement, as well as the broader implementation and sustainability of the evaluation of the proposed program by teachers, students and scientific support team. These basic guidelines are supported by the teaching principles governing the program which are summarized below:
Non exclusion. All pupils should participate, belong in working group and be activated.
Personalization - Each pupil should be treated as a unique personality, be involved in activities that interest him and feel that s/he can perform successfully.
Egalitarianism - Provide equal opportunities to all children irrelevant of nationality or physical skills.
Team work/ fair play - Promote team spirit and fair play through individual and collective action.
Improvement - Develop the goal for improvement in all areas of life through the participation in sports activities.
Teachers should not expect that all students in a class will perform in activities equally or that they will respond with the same interest, given the differences among children of the same class. The "diversity" is the key concept for effective teaching and requires pre-planned intervention actions on behalf of the teacher intervention to maximize the performance of all children.
The pre-planned interventions may differ in the following aspects:
Execution e.g. by allowing different kinetic executions by presenting performances with different degree of difficulty.
Means e.g. by using instruments/tools that facilitate weak students or by making execution more challenging for the talented one with the adaptation of activities based on different interests.
Acceptance e.g. by allowing pupils to move or respond to the exercise with different performance levels, by encouraging more weaker pupils.
Support e.g. by providing further information or by using more helping means.
Organization of teams e.g. by providing customized instructions, by encouraging work in smaller team, by selecting children of different skill level whereas this is necessary.
The personal commitment and effort for improvement should be encouraged and rewarded in an atmosphere of praise. In order to effectively promote participation, teachers should appreciate the effort and personal progress, and not focus solely on the outcome!
For teaching Olympic Education the teacher must use a combination of strategies and teaching methods. Children are pleasantly surprised when asked to do something new and they enthusiastically participate. By doing so, the possibility of undesired behavior is eliminated and students are more focused on the activity. A lot of studies have shown that the response of the students who are subject to different ways of teaching is positive. However, the teachers of physical education teachers who participated in programs where new ways of teaching were implemented, reported that their interest for their work was enhanced.
The selection criteria for choosing a teaching method depend on the goals of the course (eg strengthening cooperation among students) the subject of teaching (e.g. kinetic activitiy, visual,theoretical) and the initiatives that the student will take during the course.
The modes of teaching that a teacher of physical education can use depend on his/her relevant experience. The teacher of physical education through his/her experience, the detailed planning of each action and the existing literature, may over time form a large archive with new teaching projects by using progressively different ways. It should be noted that in an action more ways of teaching can be implemented. Their number depends on the duration of the activity, the degree of students'familiarity with independent work and the teacher's experience in each way.
The themes and the individual actions proposed for each school level may prove far more effective, if the appropriate methods that cause the interests of both students and teachers are used. Mutual teaching, non-exclusion, and the guided and converged ingenuity and deviant productivity are great teaching tools to achieve the objectives of Olympic Education.
In mutual teaching students are exercised with a student-assistant in pairs or small groups.The assistant provides feedback in accordance with the criteria that the teacher has prepared. The role of the teacher is to guide behavior, give feedback to those who observe and answer questions. This method is used when:
the purpose of the course is to develop cooperation among students.
the objective is to teach the proper feedback of one student to another and
the teacher seeks to harness some students who are able to provide a plurality of information on a subject due to their systematic involvement with it.
This method could be applied, for example, in teaching sports.
Non exclusion is used in order that all students participate regardless of skill level, they learn to choose a difficulty level in which they can respond and learn to assess their performance. The role of the teacher is to prepare the exercise and define the criteria that determine the level of difficulty, as well as answering questions submitted by students. This way could be implemented, for example, for teaching all
kinetic and visual activities.
In leading ingenuity, the student is introduced in a process of discovery and learning, where the teacher does not give ready-made solutions, but defines the problems and guides the student in finding the solution. The teacher by designing a series of questions leads the student systematically to a predefined result, in a specific response. This method could be applied, for example, in activities related to the ethical issues in sport or social issues of Olympism.
In converged ingenuity the student must discover the solution to a problem and arrive at a conclusion by using logic and his critical ability. The teacher asks the question and the student is asked to find the only correct answer without any help from the teacher.
This method could be applied, for example, in junior high and high school, in activities related to the ethical issues in sports, the problems of the modern Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
In deviant productivity, the one who produces knowledge the student. The purpose of this particular method is to prompt the student to create multiple answers for one question. The role of the teacher is to decide the type of the question to be presented, to assess the proposed solutions and serve as a source of confirmation. This method
could be applied, for example, in teaching art, in actions for creating new playgrounds or modifying regulations etc.
Some practical advices / instructions for the teachers are the following.
To fully realize the goals of the program, the teacher should be familiar with:
The history of sports and Games
Regulatory topics and developments in sports
Experiences related to the use of modern teaching strategies
(Different ways of teaching, supervision of group work etc.)
Organizing events, performances, sports, etc.
The use of new technologies to facilitate the access to a number of assessed information.
The ability to create useful forms for different actions, the facili-
contamination of communication with other schools etc.
Designing and implementing effective "courses" and activities.
Communication skills facilitate effective teaching
1. Developing a dialogue
To encourage discussion about a topic: use open-ended questions (those that are receiving many and different answers, start with words like "how", "what"
"Why" so that children can not answer in one word yes-no) e.g. "Why do some athletes take anabolic?", " According to what you have said, some athletes take anabolic because a) ... b) ... c) ... "; repeat with your own words was heard from the children, to summarize and highlight the main points; and
finally, use personal examples, erg "When I was 16 years old, I was preparing to participate for the first time in official sports games. Someone approached me and told me that he knows certain substances that would help me to improve my performance. I felt that this is ... " Î´Î¹ÎµÏ…ÎºÎ¿Î»ÏÎ½Î¿Ï…Î½ Ï„Î·Î½ Î±Ï€Î¿Ï„ÎµÎ»ÎµÏƒÎ¼Î±Ï„Î¹ÎºÎ®
Maintaining the interest of students
Teachers should strive to earn the respect of children and not their friendship. They should try not to be either strict teachers or friends, but something in between. The key for a perfect relationship is mutual respect. Some of the individual characteristics that support this relationship is: to be a role model of everything teachers teach, to be predictable and consistent,fair and trustworthy, give real feedback, and show that they care. In the beginning, teachers should adopt a more rigorous and inflexible attitude, and when roles and the way the lesson is taught , then the teachers should try to create a more positive and creative atmosphere for everyone. Rules that will help to create an environment where children will learn by having fun is: involve everyone, ask to speak, each time speaks one person,respect and help each other, when the lesson starts everybody is ready to begin in order not to waste valuable time. Specify a "signal"
(e.g, clapping, whistling, raising the hand) which will mean "break- silence"
Teaching includes, apart from verbal communication, and the nonverbal one. These are the messages people send with their bodies body when they talk. Thus, posture, facial expressions, the tone and volume of people's voice can convey other messages-
automatically from those stated.
Some general guidelines: teachers can use some movements to emphasize something that students should pay particular attention to; teachers should not make excessive or nervous movements (playing with their hair or with the pen, shaking nervously the foot, etc.), even when talking or when hearing someone talking; when moving among children or their teams their attention is more attracted and their movements are better controlled; when talking to children when the volume of teacher's voice should be such that everyone can hear it, it should not be loud or low; the teachers should not talk too fast or too slowly, they should use simple words; when using new words that may not be known to the children an explanation is given to them. The teacher's tone of voice should not be monotonous, they have to colour their voice; they should choke or use ph