Coubertin`s Pupils exhibition

Interdisciplinary project on Olympic education
Alexander Funke and Franziska Monser

proudly presenting their exhibition during the Coubertin–Symposium in Leipzig 2003

Photo: I. Nikolaus

»Pierre de Coubertin – Life and Work of a Humanist«

The creation process of the pupils’ exhibition
Pierre-de-Coubertin-Gymnasium Erfurt (Germany)

During 20 months (2002/2003), 50 pupils devoted themselves to this project, which involved the subjects English, French, history, art, computer sciences, and sports theory.

Alongside the exhibition for the school building, a touring exhibition done in German, English, and French, was also elaborated and has been shown on all continents. It was displayed at the Athens 2004, Turin 2006, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games’. In the meantime, our partner schools translated our text into 16 other languages. Our exhibition is now available in 19 languages.


Available languages:

German, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, Greek, Slovakian, Estonian, Polish, Italian, Serbian, Albanian, Swahili, Chinese, Russian, Norwegian, Japanese and Ukrainian (in preparation: Arabic)

The elaboration of the exhibition “Pierre de Coubertin- Life and work of a humanist” by pupils of the Pierre de Coubertin Gymnasium Erfurt, Germany


This exhibition is the result of an interdisciplinary project on Olympic Education including the following subjects: English, French, history, art, computer studies and sports theory.

  • preparation of the “European Year of Education through Sports” and the “Year of Physical Education in Thuringia” 2004
  • elaboration of 14 posters (as a permanent exhibition in our new school hall) to be used for an extended Olympic education – in honour to Coubertin
  • simultaneous conception as touring exhibition to be able to present the results of the whole project to a larger Thuringian and German audience
  • elaboration of an English and a French version, which we would like to lend to other schools of the International Network of Coubertin schools or on occasion of international meetings in the year of the Olympics
  • 50 pupils of the 11th form (17-year-old students) under the guidance of 6 teachers
  • School years 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 (ca. 20 months)
Pedagogical aims:
  • to place great emphasis on the original ideals of the Olympic Movement established by Coubertin and the analysis of imminent dangers to it nowadays (e.g. doping, increasing politicisation and commercialisation)
  • development of knowledge in foreign languages, general knowledge, technical know-how, team spirit and self-confident acting
Stages of the project work:


1st Stage (Collection of material):

  • ca. 800 pages original text (English /French) were translated by the pupils (from 3 to 20 pages by each student according to his/her abilities)
  • the complete translation as well as its summary were typed into the computer
  • all results were corrected, evaluated and marked by the course teachers


2nd Stage (Sifting of material):

  • the students of each project group (8 in total) gathered all individual results and chose interesting facts and figures for their posters; then the German texts were written in team work
  • afterwards a first draft of the layout was worked out, suitable photos and graphics were chosen


3rd Stage (Symposia)

  • within 8 symposia the pupils of each working group presented their results in front of all 50 participants of the project in order to get a better understanding of the whole work done by Coubertin and to obtain the necessary far-sightedness for the individual subtopic the team worked on
  • there rhetorical ability and technical know-how (use of modern techniques for visualisation) had to be shown


4th Stage (Artistic and creative work/ Looking for an appropriate layout for the subtopic)

  • work on the computer: all collected facts were artistically embedded; the groups had to find an idea for each of the boards (14 working groups)


5th Stage (Coordination of the layout)

  • a jury (one pupil-representative per group, all accompanying teachers of the project, head of school) under the leadership of the arts teacher and the teacher for computer studies decided about the best layout which should serve as a standard sample for all posters; coordination of the type size and the type face as well as the coloration


6th Stage (Translation)

  • translation of the German texts into English or French (team work of the different French and English basic courses)


7th Stage (Revision of the texts)

  • supported by the language teachers and language assistant the texts had to be corrected and revised in all the three languages
  • the final versions were completed and typed into the computer


8th Stage (Printing)

  • large-print by Neues Erfurter Werbebüro, a local agency
Results and first success:
  • in the meantime the permanent exhibition has been installed in our new school building, all three touring exhibitions (German, French and English version) have been printed in large size
  • friends of the International Network of Coubertin Schools translated it into Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Slovakian, Polish, Estonian, Norwegian and Swahili languages for the use in their countries
  • further partners translated it 6 other languages (Serbian, Albanian, Russian, Italian and Chinese)
  • on the base of this exhibition pupils created a Power Point Presentation which was shown at the Thuringian Symposium on “The importance of Olympic Ideals for Education” for the first time in March 2004
  • printing as a brochure for Olympic Education throughout our region Thuringia


It was shown:
  • at the 1st Symposium of the German Coubertin Committee in Leipzig in September 2003
  • at the Symposium “Media and Sports” in Erfurt in  November 2003
  • during the World Championships of Modern Pentathlon in Moscow in Mai 2004
  • in the Goethe-Institute of Athens during the Olympics 2004
  • till November 2004 in Monaco
  • at the World Congress of Modern Pentathlon  in Las Vegas in December 2004
  • during the General Assembly of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee in Bolbec (France); since then the French version is touring throughout South France
  • at the Congress of Modern Pentathlon in Warsaw in July 2005
  • during the founding ceremony of the National Pierre de Coubertin Committee on Maurice Island (reprint)
  • at the Comtoire Suisse (Fair on Sports) in the Olympic capital Lausanne in September 2005
  • during the 5th  International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum in Radstadt (Austria) in September 2005
  • at Coubertin-Gymnasium Berlin in November/December 2005
  • the Italian version was shown during the Winter Olympic Games in Turin 2006
  • as part of the exhibition “Winter Sports” in Oberhof (Germany) 2006
  • reprint of the Portuguese version on occasion of the foundation of the Brazilian National Pierre de Coubertin Committee in Brazil 2006
  • during the 6th International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum in Tábor (Czech Republic) in September 2007
  • during the Olympics in Beijing 2008
  • during the European Championships of Modern Pentathlon in Leipzig in July 2009
  • during the 7th International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum in Ancient Olympia in September 2009
  • in the Camp of the German Sports Youth during the Singapore YOG 2010
  • during the Award Ceremony of the Inspire/Aspire educational programme in London and Manchester 2012
  • it was published in the Report of the 1dt Symposium on “International influences on the re-establishment of the Olympic Games by Pierre de Coubertin” held by the German Pierre de Coubertin Committee in Leipzig 2003 (in German),
  • in the specialist journal “History of Olympic Studies” and in “Coubertin Academy” (Coubertin-Gymnasium-Erfurt (Ed.). (2007). Coubertin Academy. A Handbook for Education in Secondary Schools. Product of a Joint Sokrates Comenius 1 Project on School Development. Piešt’any, Sopot, Ülenurme, Erfurt.)
  • reprints of the exhibition are used in the Schools of the Coubertin Schools’ Network and in several National Olympic Academies