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Historical Development of Physical Education

development of physical educationMany students who are studying to teach physical education may be interested in undertaking courses in the historical development of Physical Education. A study of these programs will help students understand how certain techniques of teaching, and skills, have come about and are vital in this field.

Physical Education goes back to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, but has now become an integral subject in schools around the nation. Initially most physical education was linked with military training. For instance, developing upper body strength was seen as vital to throwing a javelin or for sword fighting. As in some communities, such as the Ancient Greeks, military service was compulsory and the numbers of men undertaking such regimens was vast. Since physical education was linked to military service, the number of women taking up this pursuit was relatively low in comparison to men.

In the U.S., schools and colleges were initially set up so as to concentrate on academic teaching and achievements. In achieving this, physical education as mainly disregarded. However, a professor at Harvard recognized the need to exercise and helped push through policies where physical education became a formal subject in schools.

It is commonly argued in the US, whether the emphasis should be on being physically fit through the various sports on offer, or just straight forward exercise. The former is extremely popular and many exercise programs have been created to help promote fitness in certain age groups and for people with different interests.

There was a general decline in the number of students willing to undertake physical education in the late 20th Century. This was because in some cases funding was drastically reduced to many state schools and colleges. Also, there was a shift in priorities and students’ parents preferred that their children focused more on academic subjects.

These days, with an increasing number of children across the US suffering from obesity and other related health problems, there is growing demand for physical education in the society in general and schools in particular. Therefore, the demand for physical education specialists is also increasing as is reflected in the Federal Government policy.

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