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Chapter 5: Historical Foundations : 

Chapter 5: Historical Foundations Trace the history of physical education, exercise science, and sport from earliest times to the present. Identify events that served as catalysts for physical education, exercise science, and sport’s growth. What are recent developments in physical education, exercise science, and sport?

The Field of Sport History: 

The Field of Sport History Emerged as a subdiscipline in the late 1960s and early 1970s. “… field of scholarly inquiry with multiple and often intersecting foci, including exercise, the body, play, games, athletics, sports, physical recreations, health, and leisure.” (Struna) How has the past shaped sport and its experiences today? 1973: North American Society for Sport History held its first meeting.

Sample Areas of Study...: 

Sample Areas of Study... How did urbanization influence the development of sports in America? How did the sports activities of Native Americans influence the recreational pursuits of the early colonists? How have Greek ideals influences the development of sportsmanship?

Ancient Nations: China: 

Ancient Nations: China Influence of isolation due to topography and Great Wall Influence of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism which stressed the contemplative life Physical activity meant individual freedom of expression, which was contrary to the ancient teachings. Con Fu gymnastics: To keep the body in good organic condition and ward off certain diseases caused by inactivity. Activities: wrestling, jujitsi, boxing, ts’ u chu, ch’ui wan, shuttlecoach, and kite flying

Ancient Nations: India: 

Ancient Nations: India Strong religious influence of Buddism and Hinduism. Focus on spiritual needs, not the needs of the body and worldly things. Buddism emphasized right living and thinking, including self-denial, to help the soul reach a divine state. Activities Yoga, throwing, tumbling, chariot races, riding elephants and horses, marbles, swordsmanship, dancing, wrestling, foot races

Ancient Nations: Ancient Near East: 

Ancient Nations: Ancient Near East Ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Syria, Palestine, and Persia believed in living a full life, including engaging in physical activity Influence from the military to build a stronger army Emphasize strength, stamina, endurance, agility for imperialistic means, not for the individual. Activities Gymnastics, horsemanship, bow and arrow, water activities, wrestling, jumping, hunting, fishing, physical conditioning for strength and stamina


Greece “Golden Age” of physical education and sport Striving for perfection, including physical development Vital part of the education of every Greek boy “Exercise for the body and music for the soul” Gymnastics - courage, discipline, and physical well-being, a sense of fair play, and amateurism National festivals

Greece - Sparta: 

Greece - Sparta Main objective of physical education and sport was to build a powerful army. Individuals were subservient to the state and required to defend the state against enemies. Women and men were required to be in good physical condition. agoge - a system of public, compulsory physical training for young boys Activities wrestling, jumping, running, javelin and discus, marching, horseback riding, and hunting

Greece: Athens (Sparta’s antithesis): 

Greece: Athens (Sparta’s antithesis) Democratic government Physical activity to develop bodies, for aesthetic value, and to live a more full, vigorous life. Gymnastics practiced in a palaestra and supervised by a paidotribe. Gymnasiums became the physical, social, and intellectual centers of Greece. Instruction was given by a gymnast.

Greece: National Festivals: 

Greece: National Festivals The foundation for the modern Olympic games. Olympic Games first held in 776 B.C. and continued every 4 years until abolished by Romans in 394 A.D. Conducted in honor of a hero or deity Consisted of dancing, feasting, singing, and events of physical prowess Athletic events were the main attraction, although participation was mostly limited to men. Rigid set of requirements for participation in the games, including amateurism Truce declared by all city-states during the time of the festivals Victors won a wreath of olive branches; highest honor that could be bestowed in Greece.


Rome Exercise for health and military purposes. Rigid training schedule for soldiers: marching, running, jumping, swimming, throwing javelin and discus Greek gymnastics were introduced to Rome after the conquest of Greece but were not popular Rome did not believe in the “body beautiful” Preferred to be spectators rather than participants Preferred professionalism to amateurism. Exciting “blood sports”: gladiatorial combats and chariout races. “Duel to the death” or satisfaction of spectators.

Medieval Europe: The Dark Ages: 

Medieval Europe: The Dark Ages Fall of the Roman Empire (476 A.D.) Physical and moral decay of the Roman people Physically strong Teutonic barbarians overran the Empire and brought the greatest decline in learning known to history. People participated in hunting, vigorous outdoor sport, and warfare, thus building strong, fit bodies. The spread of Christianity gave rise to asceticism. Scholasticism

Age of Feudalism (Between 9th and 14th centuries): 

Age of Feudalism (Between 9th and 14th centuries) Feudalism was a system of land tenure based on allegiance and service to the nobleman or the lord. Career opportunities for a nobleman’s son: Church - religious and academic education Knighthood - education emphasized physical, social, and military training Knights jousts and tournaments

Renaissance (14th to16th centuries): 

Renaissance (14th to16th centuries) Feudal system replaced by monarchies. Age of Enlightment, revival of learning, belief in dignity of human beings. Men were being educated with the invention of the printing press and establishment of more schools and universities. Humanism: “A sound mind in a sound body.”


Renaissance Leaders Educational opportunities for the common people as well, but few for females. Class differences appear in participation of some sports. Physical education was important for learning, necessary for health, and preparation for warfare. John Milton Martin Luther John Locke John Jacques Rousseau Vittorino da Feltra Francois Rabelais Michel de Montaigne John Comenius

Modern Europe: Germany: 

Modern Europe: Germany Basedow - inclusion of physical education in the school’s curriculum. Guts Muth - “Gymnastics for the Young” and “Games” - illustrated various exercises and apparatus; explained the relationship of physical education to education Jahn - Turnverein societies to build strong and hardy citizens; turnplatz (exercise ground)

Modern Europe: Germany: 

Modern Europe: Germany Spiess -Founder of school gymnastics in Germany. Schools should be interested in the total growth of the individual; Physical education should receive the same consideration as other academic subjects Adapted physical activity for girls and boys Exercises combined with music Progressive program

Modern Europe: Sweden: 

Modern Europe: Sweden Per Henik Ling Scientific study of physical education Establishment of training institutes Design of gymnastic programs to meet specific individual needs 3 Types: Educational gymnastics, military gymnastics, and medical gymnastics Teachers of physical education must have foundational knowledge of the effects of exercise on the human body.

Modern Europe: Sweden: 

Modern Europe: Sweden Branting Devoted his time to medical gymnastics Understanding of the effects of gymnastics on the muscular as well as nervous and circulatory systems Nyblaeus Military gymnastics and the inclusion of women Hjalmar Fredick Ling Organization of school gymnastics in Sweden for boys and girls.

Modern Europe: Denmark: 

Modern Europe: Denmark Nachtegall Introduced physical education into the public schools Teacher preparation Bukh “primitive gymnastics” - build a perfect physique by performing exercises without cessation of movement.

Great Britain: 

Great Britain Home of outdoor sports Wrestling, throwing, riding, fishing, hunting, swimming, rowing, skating, archery, hockey, quoits, tennis, football (soccer), cricket Maclaren - Eager to make physical training a science; a system that was adopted by the British Army Health is more important than strength Exercise adapted to the individual physical education essential in school curriculum

Influences of PE in the U.S.: 

Influences of PE in the U.S. European ideals Systems of gymnastics (exercises) Philosophies of physical education Ancient Asian cultures Yoga Martial arts Relationships between the mind, body, and spirit

Colonial Period (1607-1783): 

Colonial Period (1607-1783) Colonists led an agrarian existence - physical activity through performing tasks essential to living and survival. Colonists brought sports with them from their native lands. Puritans denounced play as evil; recreational pursuits frowned upon. Reading, writing, and arithmetic in schools, not physical education.

National Period (1784-1861): 

National Period (1784-1861) Growth of private schools for females Introduction of German gymnastics to schools 1852: First intercollegiate competition: a crew race between Harvard and Yale. Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) Calisthenics performed to music One of the first to advocate for daily physical education Invention of baseball Horseracing, foot races, rowing, and gambling on sport events

Civil War Period until 1900: 

Civil War Period until 1900 Turnverein societies continue to grow and include both girls and boys Dio Lewis Programs for the “weak and feeble” in society Training school for teachers in Boston Inclusion of gymnastic programs in the schools Nissen - Swedish Movement Cure grows in popularity and recognized for its inherent medical values YMCA established; international training school at Springfield College

Civil War Period until 1900: 

Civil War Period until 1900 Growth of American sport in popularity Tennis Golf Bowling Basketball (Naismith) Founding of forerunner of Amateur Athletic Association (AAU) Revival of Olympics in Athens Colleges and universities develop departments and expand programs

Civil War Period until 1900: 

Civil War Period until 1900 Expansion of intercollegiate athletics Abuses raise concerns Establishment of governing bodies Emphasis on teacher preparation, scientific basis of PE, diagnosis and prescription of activity Organized PE programs in elementary and secondary schools 1885 - Founding of the forerunner of AAHPERD “Battle of the Systems” (Which system of gymnastics should be included in curriculum?)

Early Twentieth Century (1900s-1940s): 

Early Twentieth Century (1900s-1940s) Extensive interscholastic programs - controversy over programs for girls Growth of intramural programs and emphasis on games and sports in our programs Increased concern for the physically underdeveloped in our society Playground movement Higher standards for teacher training (4 year preparation) NCAA established to monitor collegiate athletics

World War I (1916-1919): 

World War I (1916-1919) Physical educators developed conditioning programs for armed forces . After the war, health statistics revealed that the nation was in poor shape (1/3 of men were physically unfit for armed service). Growth and upgrade of PE programs in schools following war due to legislation in some states.

Golden Twenties (1920-1929): 

Golden Twenties (1920-1929) Move away from formal systems of gymnastics toward games, sports, and valuable recreation and leisure time. “New” physical education emphasized contribution to the total development of the individual; “education through the physical” vs. “education of the physical”. Calls for reform of collegiate athletics due to increasing professionalism, public entertainment, and commercialization. Women’s programs increase staff, activities, required participation, and facilities.

Depression Years (1930-1939): 

Depression Years (1930-1939) Economic forces lead to cutbacks in PE programs and growth of recreational programs. Between 1932 and 1934, nearly 40% of all physical education programs were dropped completely. Physical educators more involved in recreational programs for the unemployed. Growth of interscholastic, intercollegiate and women’s programs. 1940: National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball became National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1952

Mid-twentieth Century (1940-1970): 

Mid-twentieth Century (1940-1970) Impact of WW II - physical training programs Physical fitness movement President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Athletics Increase opportunities for girls and women Increased interest in lifetime sports Sport programs below high school level increase Increased number of intramural programs

Mid-twentieth Century (1940-1970): 

Mid-twentieth Century (1940-1970) Professional preparation Colleges and universities increase programs for teachers American College of Sports Medicine (1954) National Athletic Trainers’ Association (1950) Programs for individuals with disabilities Special Olympics (1968) Research grows in importance and becomes increasingly specialized

Significant Recent Developments: 

Significant Recent Developments Emergence of subdisciplines Disease prevention and health promotion Healthy People Objectives for the Nation Healthy People 2000 Healthy People 2010 Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health Legislation promoting opportunities for girls and women, and people with disabilities Increased technology

School Physical Education: 

School Physical Education Recognition of the critical role school PE in achieving national health goals Fitness status and physical activity of children and youth Congressional support for high-quality, daily physical education Daily PE declines from 42% to 25%

School Physical Education: 

School Physical Education National Content Standards offer a national framework Emergence of new curricular models Only one state, Illinois, requires daily PE for all students, K-12

Physical Fitness and Participation in Physical Activity: 

Physical Fitness and Participation in Physical Activity Expansion of the fitness movement and involvement in physical activity Shift from performance to health-related fitness to an emphasis on moderate-intensity physical activity Physical inactivity recognized as a major health problem

The Growth of Sport: 

The Growth of Sport Phenomenal growth of participation in sports at all levels Youth sports involve more than 25 million children Interscholastic sports involve more than 6 million boys and girls Trend toward early specialization

The Growth of Sport: 

The Growth of Sport Intercollegiate sports involve over 450,000 athletes Growth of sport as “big business” in some institutions Growth of recreational sport leagues and amateur sports for adults of all ages Professional sports continue to expand

Girls and Women in Sport: 

Girls and Women in Sport Rapid growth since the passage of Title IX in 1972 Changes in governance of intercollegiate sports Challenges to Title IX Changes in physical education classes following passage of Title IX

Programs for Individuals with Disabilities: 

Programs for Individuals with Disabilities Federal Legislation PL 93-122 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act PL 94-142 Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 Amateur Sports Act of 1978 PL 101-336 Americans with Disabilities Act Paralympics


Olympics Rebirth of the Olympics in 1896 Centennial Olympics celebrated in Atlanta in 1996 Politicization of the Olympic Games Evolving definitions of amateurism “Fairness” issues in the Olympics Addition of non-traditional sports Commercialization of the Olympics


Technology Computer technology and sophisticated research equipment Has led to record-breaking achievements for elite athletes in nearly all sports Facility improvement Fitness tests data available in schools with addition of heart rate monitors

U.S. Leaders in Physical Education: 

U.S. Leaders in Physical Education Beck Follen Beecher Winship Dio Lewis Nissen Anderson Homans Hemenway Delsarte Sloane Roberts Durant Sargent Hitchcock

U.S. Leaders in Physical Education: 

U.S. Leaders in Physical Education Posse McKenzie Bancroft Hanna McCurdy Gulick Riis Hetherington Nash Wood Cassidy Williams Brace Rogers

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