The Olympics and Teaching Children about Competition

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olympic rings

Competition.
26 July 2021.

Citius, Altius, Fortius, is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.

original moto of the Olympic Games.

Together, are we making participation in competition enjoyable?

Are we enabling children to aspire to be winners, to go faster, to strive higher, and to be strong in mind and body?  If not, why not?

Early childhood education lays the foundation for later learning and is important in the development of attitudes and dispositions.  Attitudes toward competition form during the early years of a child’s life.   

olympic rings

The word ‘competition’ was fleetingly mentioned in the original version of Te Whāriki  under the goal of ‘contribution’ – it was stated that an outcome of early childhood education is that it should help children to “develop positive and constructive attitudes to competition“.

Becoming and being excited by competition and learning about the importance of practice, perseverance, planning, and always aiming to do one’s best are things that a young child can pick up on.  

The Games excite us as no other sports event really can and for children who can’t attend the Games, the best way to pick up on the excitement and emotion is to watch the performances of athletes on screen.

It may be contentious to suggest early childhood teachers let children watch the Olympics. But, talking about it and looking at static pictures and printed reports only is not as emotionally inspiring and educational as seeing the action and following our athletes achievements and disappointments. 

running race

Early childhood educators and teachers can involve children in the Olympics  There are many great ways to do this. 

Also, its not only possible but it is advisable to support children to participate in games and competition that is enjoyable.  

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