International Journal of Education and Information Technology, Vol. 1, No. 3, August 2015 Publish Date: Jul. 25, 2015 Pages: 111-116

The Relationship Education X Sport in Brazil: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Werlayne S. S. Leite1, 2, *

1Secretariat of Education of the State of Ceará (SEDUC), Fortaleza, Brazil

2Secretariat of Education of Fortaleza (SME), Fortaleza, Brazil


The sport is considered one of the greatest social phenomena of the century and attracts the interest of various sectors of society, such as the educational, political, economic, among others. However, the sport cannot be understood only as a competitive sport or sport-spectacle. The purpose of this study is to show, through a literature review, that sport also contributes to the formation of the citizen, being able to provide many benefits to its practitioners in various fields, especially in education. Among these benefits of union between sport and education, we can highlight: the socialization, the creation of ethical, moral and behavioral, creation of healthy habits, among others. Even though the educational benefits that sport can generate, unfortunately it is still a clear weakness of Brazilian public policies aimed at the sport. This weakness can be detected by the depreciation of physical education in schools, by public policies on the few existing sports to society and also the results obtained by Brazil in Olympic Games, being competitive sport the final stage of a sports policy. Thus, it can be concluded that, despite all the benefits that sport can generate for society, Brazilian reality shows that this is still devalued and underutilized.


Sport and Society, Educational Sport, Socialization, Public Policies

1. Introduction

The sport is now considered one of the greatest social phenomena of the century. This development has made the it to assume multiple possibilities, interesting different sectors of society, e.g., educational, political, economic, social, cultural sectors, among others (Maia, 2010). The society is facing a phenomenon that, like all social phenomena, it is historically conditioned and culturally determined.

Talking about sports is talking about something much bigger than competitions. The concept of sport currently transcends the specification of formal activities, regulated and recognized through its official competitions (Couto, 2005). The importance that it has in society, in many areas, is immense and goes beyond the Olympics or established athletes. It is an important vehicle for education, moves the economy, breaking geographical and ethnic barriers makes body and mind healthier and provides the most important thing among people: the respect. The sport brings with itself a real miracle that is able to unite mankind (Neuenfeldt, 2008).

When you enlarge the view and discover the other side of the sport, which is not only the competition, it is like accepting that it may become an excellent way that, through an educational approach, may contribute to the integral and critical formation of the human being, going far beyond the technical and tactical substantiation (Capitanio, 2003). More than that, it is for the sport to contribute to the formation of citizens (Galatti & Paes, 2006; Oliveira et al., 2011). Specifically in the educational sector, many benefits can be achieved depending on the pedagogical processes and procedures employed, e.g., cooperation, socialization, leadership, respect, among others, making sport an important element in preparing children and youth for life in society (Maia, 2010).

Understanding the sport as a sociocultural phenomenon of multiple meanings and considering the historic moment in the background of this problem (Korsakas & De Rose, 2002). The aim of this paper is to clarify the relation of education through sport and as a consequence, on which aspects sport can contribute positively in human development of involved people, through the promotion of values that constitute as skills for life in society; analyze the reality of Brazilian sports policy, based on other studies, data from sportswriters and, as a database, the results obtained in the London Olympics, making a brief analysis of sport performance, the final stage of a sports policy.

2. Sport and Education: A Brief Historical Review

From Old Age already sport was thought as an important element in the education of man. At that time, the Greeks attributed a high value on physical activities and sports in the physical and moral training of their citizens. And even the very concept of sport has gone through enormous changes during all these centuries, the discussions about his relationship with education is still present (Korsakas and De Rose, 2002).

The term sport, in its primitive meaning, used in the thirteenth century in both France (desport) and Italy (disporto), and later in England (circa 1440) under the name of "sport" was used for activities that had characterized a sense, beyond learning, entertainment, pleasure, fun. In England "sport" referred, at the beginning of its use, to the feudal sport, which differed from the popular exercises that were called "games" (Zilio, 1994).

In this historical journey stands the Thomas Arnold`s name, considered the father of modern sport for having initiated the use of British popular games in a pedagogical perspective, being a pioneer in the recognition of sport as a means of education. Such games were gradually codified and organized, boosting the English sports movement in the nineteenth century and according to Betti (1991), the English public schools facilitated the process of proliferation of the sport in other social strata, emphasizing the socializing influence of sport in promoting loyalty, cooperation and initiative, among other values.

Based on the model of educative sport of English schools, combined with the principles of Ancient Greece, Pierre de Coubertin sought inspiration for the revival of the modern Olympic Games (Betti, 1991). And it is in this scenario that the Olympic ideals were built and the modern sport was consolidated by its recognized pedagogical functions (Korsakas and De Rose, 2002).

The expansion of modern sport, one of the most significant social phenomena of recent times, driven by social changes in the nineteenth century, followed all the technological evolution and customs of the twentieth century and the new millennium coming, reaching an odd size by its coverage of the political, economic, cultural and educational fields (Korsakas and De Rose, 2002). The sport grows endlessly and increasingly people look for physical activities. These factors bring to the sport growing importance coming from its inception to the present day (Tubino, 1997).

3. The Relationship Between Education and Sport

In Brazil, according to the Law 9615 of 1998, educational sport is the one practiced in educational system, that means, at schools, and other forms of unsystematic education, avoiding selectivity, the hyper competitiveness of its practitioners, in order to achieve the full development of the individual and their training for citizenship and leisure practice.

The educational dimension of sport, according to Tubino (2006), is one based on educational principles such as participation, cooperation, coeducation, responsibility and inclusion. This conceptualization of approaches is like the one presented by Barbieri (2001), under which the educational sport is "one of the meanings attributed to the sport, as a human activity - through the development of the human being, his individuality and socialization, the preservation of its health, the development of self-esteem, self-knowledge and make up in the world - manifested in formal education systems and outside of them, having as its constitutive principles all, cooperation, participation, coeducation, regionalism and emancipation, and as ultimate goal the formation of man and citizenship.

3.1. Sport and Socialization

According Eidelwein and Nunes (2012), socialization means the process of transmission of socially expected behaviors. More specifically, socialization involves the acquisition of physical and social skills (abilities), values, knowledge, attitudes, norms and rules that can be learned in one or more social institutions, for example in sport. The importance of socialization and social learning in a teaching perspective of Physical Education, results, on the one hand, of the analysis of the social reality of the sport, as a field in which relationships and social activities are of central importance, on the other hand, daily problems make the teacher to consider in greater depth the social relations offered or influenced by Physical Education and, depending on the case, the teacher tends to modify them.

Sports activities are of particular importance, especially for children, offering a wide range of actions to fill constructively their free time, contributing to their formation and get them off the streets. Developing citizens through sports practice is a method that can work properly in the whole country. Experiences with social projects related to sports show that physical activity, especially with regard to young people, has a very positive motivator. The effects are felt in the daily routine, with more focused children and adolescents in the classroom, disciplined and mostly, children and adolescents away of the streets. The sport together with the education is a powerful weapon in the area of social protection and rescuing children and young people who live at risk, as they will keep themselves busy with enjoyable activities and they will not be idle in the streets (Lima, sd).

Sport contributes to the inclusion of learners in their social context and encourages the establishment of linkages that will influence their formation. Creates social conditions that offer opportunities, (Hoyos, 2004 as cited in Couto, 2005), for certain practices of citizenship, such practices allow the students to enjoy acquaintanceship as valuable in their formation. According to Weinberg and Gould (2001), the children enjoy the sport because of the opportunities that it provides to be with friends and make new friends. According to Tubino (2005), there is no doubt that physical activity and mainly sports are one of the best ways of human coexistence.

The importance of sport as a tool for social inclusion is growing day by day. Proof of this is that the year 2005 was chosen by the United Nations (UN) as the "Year of Sport for Peace and Development". The UN noted that the sport, even if it has the principle of physical and health development, also serves for acquiring values necessary for social and world cohesion, "the sport is a tool that, combined with education, would really serve as a tool for social inclusion.

3.2. Sport and the Ethical, Moral and Behavioral Values

Besides socialization through sports we also promote routine, compliance with rules, respect, persistence, the ability to compete, to wait one self’s turn, to break the limits, to accept winning and losing, the unity, the cooperation, the teamwork. It is an inexhaustible source of ethical and moral concepts that are very important for the formation of the individual (Meyer, 2007; Couto, 2005). And, above all, they lead to the path of an autonomous, compassionate and ethical acting. (Delors, 2001 as cited Couto, 2005).

According to Meyer (2007), the sport still has the magic to integrate the individual, regardless of social class, race or religion. It develops the individual ability to work in groups, to fulfill the time, to listen, to know one's limits, to know his/her body, to admit that he/she needs improvement, to respect differences and so many other aspects to be aware that difficult, and avoid the sedentary lifestyle so common nowadays. Sport should be the greatest ally of education. Together they promote the integral development of the individual in a harmonious and healthy awakening for citizenship and thus forming good people.

For Zilio (1994), the sport has the opportunity to develop other behaviors, in which: someone respects his/her opponent while he/she dominates; obeys the rules, while knowing them, acquires appropriate behavior in the situation of a spectator; accepts victory naturally and, in defeat, recognizes the superiority of the adversary; etc.. We also demonstrate both the students as educators, that sport involves the formation of emotional bonds, which will allow them to promote the values and develop skills (Couto, 2005). It is here that we understand the critical role of sport, along with education, in the search for principles and social, moral and ethical values (Lima, sd; Oliveira et al., 2011).

Bento (2004, p. 49) states that the values of the game are not only taught to have "validity in the sport, but mainly and essentially to have value in life, for them to chart the ways, broaden horizons and adding goals and means to achieve them. "In other words, we can say that these values take the direction of the implementation of the principles that should head the education of our children and youth (Florentino & Saldanha, 2007). Therefore, studying the sports practice thoroughly, there is a clear contribution to this phenomenon has on the lives of human beings, forming critical citizens and employees (Oliviera et al., 2011).

4. Sports Policy in Brazil: The Other Side of the Coin

Even knowing all the benefits that sport can bring to society, Brazil has a huge deficit when it comes to public policies for the sport, whether for sport education, whether for sport performance.

According to Lucio Beltrão in an article published in the "Jornal do Commercio", the sports policy in Brazil is disastrous. The sports legislation is another joke. The sports managers and public administrators believe that sport comes down to football. Lack sports policy in the country. The sport today is not a priority, it is not seen as something important (Lousada, 2010). Urgent attitudes against this are needed! According to Brito (2012), Brazil fails completely in providing a framework that offers quality of life and access to sport for its population, that in so vast and biodiverse lands could already have developed successful talents in practically all sports.

Of the nearly six thousand cities, only a few has a sports field that is proper for practice of three different sports. Convincing mayor to build a sports field becomes almost a utopia, a gym, no way. This lack of commitment to sport policy covers all governments: local, state and federal. But when questioned, the authorities cite numerous projects that serve millions of people (Costa, 2008).

Castellani Filho (as cited in Mendes & Azevêdo, 2010) notes that municipal governments of the Brazilian states destine around 0.4% of their budgets for the sectors of culture, sport and leisure, which is little, given the demand for funds for hiring of professional and continuing education of these and construction and equipment maintenance.

Former President Mr. Luis Inácio da Silva said it would be much cheaper for the government to invest in programs to encourage the sport than in the maintenance of people in prison for having committed offenses. Since having this awareness (Meyer, 2007), why not actually putting it into practice? It is so difficult to defend sport policy while it is easy to use the problem of hunger to justify the absence of concrete measures in other areas of public administration. It is impossible to ask the authorities for actions to regulate the practice of any sport, just because almost everywhere in this country the main theme is the lack of food (Costa, 2008).

4.1. Physical Education and Sport at School

It is usually at school, through the Physical Education that children have the first contact with the systematic practice of sports and oriented by professionals. However, in general, physical education, as a discipline mandatory integrant of the Brazilian curriculum, it is suffering a major devaluation at school (Leite, 2011). Among the several benefits that discipline is proposed to do, the reality is that it is still very far from achieving all of these objectives.

Many authors claim that the devaluation of the discipline, truancy and lack of interest of students in physical education classes is a phenomenon that can be found in various schools, both public and private, and in several regions of the country (Cavalieri, 2012; Leite, 2011; Millen Neto et al., 2010; Santos, 2010; Souza et al., 2012). Among the main reasons for the devaluation of discipline, one can cite: physical structure and material inadequate, lack of a national curriculum, monotonous and repetitive classes, unmotivated teachers, etc. These and other aspects make that Physical Education classes are only one reason for students not stay in the classroom, totally missing its true objective, then committing the schooling of students (Cavalieri, 2012).

Many educational institutions, especially of public education, are concerned only with the inclusion of this discipline in the curriculum, as is required by law, without any concern for the quality of it. There is still the existence of a gap between theory and practice in regard to physical education at school, i.e., there is a gap between law that ensures and practice that denies. In fact, currently, little or no importance is attached to this discipline in schools. She is seen only as a form of relaxation and leisure in the school environment (Santos, 2010).

The sport, unfortunately, is not used by educational institutions in the proportion that should be (Meyer, 2007). Unfortunately, in our country the Physical Education is still worked in many places as inferior discipline, where with the school as a base, and it is left only some clubs or some prefectures to discover the talents in sports, while the high quality structures are exceptions (Alves, 2012).

The sports practice at school is the basis for the development of various aspects, from the integral formation of the student to the development of public policies aimed at detection of talent for the sport performance. You cannot improvement in high performance sport if there is no massification of sports (Lousada, 2010), especially in schools.

According to Mendes & Azevedo (2010), is given less importance to Physical Education for not being state interest "social welfare" and the quality of education, as evidenced by the policies that have been applied in teaching.

4.2. Performance Sport

When we analyze the performance sport, the situation is no different. The emergence of future athletes by Brazil is still like finding a needle in a haystack. In some Olympic powers of the world such as USA, China, Russia, Australia and Germany, the development of the sport elite involves in a linked way the acting of various sectors such as schools, government, science, patronage, infrastructure, among others (Alves, 2012 ).

In countries where there is a developed sports policy, the steps in the sport are interconnected, creating a chain. Schools and universities offer quality Physical Education, extracurricular activities, competitions and exchange with clubs. In the USA, for example, children have contact with the modalities since early. It is cultural. In high school, who shows aptitude becomes trained as an athlete. The sport remains strong in university, athletes earn scholarships and can reach the professionalism (Lajolo, 2012).

Closed one more Olympics, we turn our attention inward and begin to evaluate the Brazilian participation in the games. Quickly, it appears that only repeated the mediocrity of the past three or four editions, now with the difference that Rio de Janeiro is hosting the next, and as usual it the hosting country achieves a campaign above its historical performance (Brito , 2012). The result of the last Olympics reflects the fragility of sport policy in our country. Unfortunately, there is no wide and structured system in Brazil that spreads sport and works detecting talents (Alves, 2012).

This is something attainable, but Brazil will do what it never proposed in sports, in 2016 or shortly, if it wants to take off the Olympic level (with all the respect to other nations) from Iran, Belarus, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Ukraine, Netherlands, Kenya, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, and left the brand of one of the countries with the worst ratio of medals per capita worldwide (Brito, 2012). We only will change level when invest in the base, to popularize the sport by increasing sports activities mainly in schools and universities, something that we are still very weak (Lousada, 2010).

Rightly, the government has already announced construction or renovations in 10 000 sports fields. Not much, thus a maximum of 15% of Brazilian schools have a multisport space, which certainly highlights the limitations of the green-yellow aspirations to improve in the overall medals (Brito, 2012). In fact it is missing an awakening, a greater awareness of mayors, governors and the federal government about the need to invest in the sport so committed, improvised and simple for the common good, but also as a sport policy directed to athletes’ training for national and international competitions. The position of Brazil in the Olympics gives testament to the lack of investment (Costa, 2008).

The money invested in sport is increasing, but the results did not (Lousada, 2010). Even with billionaire investments, the government has not done the basic understanding between the Ministries of Education, Health and Sport, and has not built sports courts in the schools and has not installed new equipments in the existing installations; the government has also ignored the appreciation of teachers, not taking into account the starting point for the practice of elementary Physical Education. Traditional Games at School and College, those once were a source of talent identification, left the federal area and are under the responsibility of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. With no pedagogical bond or commitment of the government. They have become calendar events, only analyzed journalist and expert in Olympics Jose Cruz, in his column in the newspaper "Correio Braziliense", showing that we are still even crawling in creating a sporting culture in our population - that is, it is needed that sports are practiced and accessed not only by those who may one day become an Olympic champion (Brito, 2012), but for social development.

It is the government`s responsibility to invest and engage seriously with these areas and at the same time optimize the interface between sport and education as basic elements for improving the quality of life of society as a whole (Lima, s.d.) and later also with the aim of elite athlete`s training. The opinion is general: for Brazil get better results, it is urgent to develop a national sports policy aimed at long-term yields!

5. Conclusion

The sport, while holding a multifaceted dimension, can be an important ally in the education of society. To reach this aim, it must be worked initially in school. It should have as main objectives: the development of values and relevant attitudes to the life in society and the creation of a culture of leisure and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, and subsequently to these goals, the training of yield athletes. Neuenfeldt (2008), who is an expert to this theme, cites the sport as a way of getting a better interpersonal relationship is not in school where we will find future prodigies or great athletes, but in school, through sports and recreational activities, we are approaching people to each other. What certainly is much more important to our society than future Olympic medalists.

However, if many of the beneficial effects of sport are already known, be it physical, mental and social, why do Brazilian Government do not invest, in a serious way in sports policy? Would it not be more effective and cheaper to invest in education and sport and reduce expences on health, safety, etc..? The truth is that we do a lot of sport, but little about it and hardly reflect on the contents that emerge from it. The concept of education through sport shows that we should "learn from the sport" and not "learn a sport."

Brazil needs urgently more infrastructure and real sports policy, which can cover the whole of society. While there is no effective government politics, the creation and renovation of sports facilities, and the sport be not worked properly and committed, especially at school, we will not have the educational benefits that could be achieved with this practice, therefore, we will not have to create a sporting culture and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle in our country, and, lastly, do not develop the yield sport and continue to get mediocre results in international competitions.

A country the territorial dimension of Brazil (approximately 8.5 million km2), with the 5th largest population in the world (about 200 million people), and the 6th largest economy, having participated in the Olympics, having won only 17 medals (with 3 gold, 5 silver and 9 bronze) and still "celebrates the best of all time participation in the Olympics," it to be considered at least as a joke. This just shows the weakness of our sport policy.

Figure 1. The relationship between Olympic medals and social development.


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