Ways preschool children aged 4-5 years old express their desire to excel

Tsiakara Angeliki, Digelidis Nikolaos


The aim of this study was to examine the ways in which preschool children express competitive behaviors and their desire to excel. In this study 195 preschool children (aged 4-5 years old) took part. The methodology was based on a phenomenological approach and data were collected through observational procedures. The observation included 165 hours during a 10 weeks period in 11 classes. The qualitative analysis of data showed that preschool children may express their desire to excel i) verbally (words and phrases) and ii) physically (movements and gestures). More specifically, they express competitive behaviors mainly: i) by making comparisons, ii) disagreeing with each other iii) intervening during the talk of another child iv) taking the place of another child, v) grabbing objects that another child possesses and vi) pulling, pushing and kicking other children to take their places or their objects. In conclusion, the results of this study show that children in the preschool age demonstrate a variety of antagonistic behavior both verbally and physically.


competition, preschool children, kindergarten, verbal competition, physical competition, qualitative research

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