History of Physical Education in the United States (01:12)
Throughout the 20th century, physical education in the U.S. has had an emphasis on games and sports. We are a more sedentary society today.
Foundation of Physical Education (02:52)
The connection between the values of society and one's physicality has roots in antiquity. The Athenians and Greeks were interested in developing virtuous behavior through physicality. Learn the concepts and focus of physicality during the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation.
Early Influences on Physical Education in the U.S. (03:58)
The Puritan and Protestant work ethic impacted perspectives on recreation and physicality. Health and fitness, modeled after the German gymnastic system, became a part of education in the 1820s; few towns offered education to girls. Charles Beck was the first formal instructor.
Evolution of Physical Education and Sports in the U.S. (04:17)
Alexander Cartwright helped develop baseball which influenced popular opinion of recreation, sports, and fitness. Advocates for women's education and health include Mary Lyon and Catherine Beecher. Teaching values and principles through physical activity gained in popularity; sports were also on the rise.
Organization of Physical Education and the Growth of Sports in the U.S. (03:15)
The advent of public parks and urban recreation facilities increased access to fitness for everyone. The YMCA and YWCA devised recreational activities including basketball and volleyball. John Dewey believed games were important to youth education.
Physical Education Training and Sports (03:46)
Private colleges began physical education training programs; several women physical educators trained other professors. In 1885, the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education debated which gymnastic model produced the best results. Sports eventually replaced gymnastics in PE programs and interscholastic sports became a focus for many communities.
Football was one of the most popular sports at the beginning of the 20th century; President Roosevelt helped regulate football and college athletics. Experts state that interscholastic athletics has hurt average physical fitness.
Growth of Physical Education and Sports in the U.S. (02:01)
Between WWI and WWII, several universities required physical education for graduation. The Harvard Fatigue Lab was the foundation for all exercise physiology laboratories in the U.S. Sports and PE help make students good citizens; the advancement of dance influenced PE.
Physical Education Variety and Performance (03:10)
In the 1930s, Jesse Feiring Williams, Jay Nash, and Charles McCloy proposed different directions for PE. State, local, and municipal resources impacted the availability of programs; the draft drew attention to the need for PE resources. The Kraus-Weber Test revealed the deficit of physical education between American and European children.
Dramatic Change in PE and PE Associations (04:24)
Dr. Ken Cooper's aerobics and fitness movement significantly increased the popularity of exercise and fitness; legislation helped make PE available to everyone. PE instructors need a human anatomy and research knowledge base. See a list of several associations that helped the growth and development of physical education.
Physical Education in the 21st Century (01:33)
Obesity levels in the U.S. are on the rise. Experts discuss challenges facing physical educators.
Credits: History of Physical Education in the US (02:59)
Credits: History of Physical Education in the US
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