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Competition in the elementary physical education program: A developmental process

19 July 1993


With the emphasis on cooperative learning in today's classroom, many educators feel that this philosophical methodology must not include . competition. However, since competition is a pervasive element in today's society, students will be exposed to it in many aspects of life. The impact of competition can be devastating. Students need to be taught how to deal with competition and be encourages to develop a healthy attitude towards it so they can learn from the competitive activity instead of being negatively affected.

Because competition does have a potentially negative effect the learning of it cannot be left to chance. Physical educators are in a unique situation of being able to utilize competition in their curriculum. Physical education can provides the ideal opportunity to stress good sportsmanship, promote cooperation and teamwork and to ·shape students' attitudes on winning and losing. However, they must be cognizant of the implications of competition. If competition is taught through the elementary curriculum in moderation and developmentally appropriately, with emphasis on cooperation and teamwork, competition can have a place in a cooperative learning environment.


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