Word of the Week 5: Competition or Cooperation?

To what extent should we foster competition in our Physical Education programs?  Should educators bypass traditional competitive sports like soccer and football to make way for yoga and recreational dance?  According to John Steele, chief executive of the of the UK Youth Sport Trust, “competition is not a dirty word.” Steele argues that teacher should not be afraid of educating children about winning and loosing.

What are your thoughts on competition in Physical Education programs?

For more reading on competition in PE see: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6356569


Here is another great article on Competition and Fair Play by Ellen Singleton:

 This is the kind of experience I plan to encourage by Singleton ..

3 thoughts on “Word of the Week 5: Competition or Cooperation?”

  1. I’m glad you brought this up! I had an experience with this last week at my practicum school during our PE class. We were playing “skittles”, a game where 2 teams are formed and the objective is to knock over all of the other teams 5 bowling pins off of a bench with soft balls. My grade 2 students were really excited to play but when the game started and had slightly uneven numbers, issues started to arise. Sure enough, when the team with more people won, one student began to cry and the others were very upset too. I think competition and learning to “win” and “lose” is important but having conditions where players can experience BOTH is even more important if you choose to create competition.

  2. Another great article on this topic of Competition and Fair Play is :

    Is this the kind of experience that I plan to encourage : Competition and Fair Play in high school physical education by Ellen Singleton

    Link to pdf above!

  3. I find it is hard to take a firm stance on this issue as I have had little formal Physical Education teaching experience in my career thus far. However, I lean towards the ‘competition’ side, but only within a structured and supportive framework such as the Teaching Games for Understanding model. My philosophical view is simply based on the issue that we live in a competitive world, and learning the differences between winning and loosing will aide our students in their future.

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