Factors influencing implementation of an olympic education program in a multicultural northern canadian community

Por: Clive Hickson, Deanna Binder e Graham Fishburne.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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In the spring of 2003 the Institute for Olympic Education implemented a values-based physical education curriculum project in pre-adolescent Grade 5 classes in a multicultural community in northern Alberta. The purpose of the project was to explore how best to implement a school/community initiative designed to influence the values of teachers and students with respect to such Olympic values as joy in physical activity, fair play, respect and acceptance for cultural diversity. The project followed a community development action research model, melding the resources and skills of the
professional and academic community with the grassroots knowledge and sensitivities of the local community. The project was, in part, a response to the looming health crisis arising from the alarming lack of physical activity among school-aged children in Canada, and particularly among Aboriginal and new-Canadian families. It was supported with funding from the Royal Bank of Canada.


Nine grade five classes participated in the experimental (7) and control (2) components of the project. Teachers in the experimental classes were provided with a package of curriculum materials, based on "Be A Champion in Life" (Binder, 2000). Student and teacher experiences and attitudes before and after the three-month intervention were monitored through a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures. A variety of instruments were employed to elicit information on children’s attitudes toward fair play and physical activity. An adaptation of Horrock’s Prosocial Play Behaviour Inventory (Horrocks, 1979) was adopted for use alongside several other questionnaires. These instruments were specially designed to elicit information on children’s physical activity and their preferences for physical activity, both within and outside of the school environment. Both teachers and children were interviewed periodically throughout the 3 month study period. Teachers were also required to keep journals to record their lived experiences of the intervention program.


A selection of results, both quantitative and qualitative will be presented to offer insights on the success of the intervention project.
Both quantitative and qualitative results will be discussed to highlight some of the strengths and difficulties associated with implementation of a schools-community project. Several wonderful successes will be presented to show what can be achieved by implementing and following Olympic Education themes in the school and community setting.


(1). Binder, D. (2000). Be A Champion in Life. Athens: Foundation of Olympic and Sport Education.
(2). Horrocks, R. N. (1979). Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC.





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