Modern physical education began in Germany in the 1800s with the opening of the first gymnasium. Sweden followed suit, then other European nations. By the early 20th century, many public schools worldwide had begun to incorporate physical conditioning into their curricula.Continue Reading
In the United States, the President's Council on Physical Fitness was established in 1956 to promote physical fitness in schools. Under President John F. Kennedy, the program was expanded to include physical fitness testing for elementary school children and was accompanied by a significant public relations campaign. The Presidential Physical Fitness award, honoring students who exceeded certain standards on their physical fitness tests, was established in 1966.
In 1967, Congress passed a law providing for research and training in physical education for the handicapped. This was soon followed by the establishment of the Special Olympics in 1968; the first Special Olympics hosted 1,000 athletes from the United States and Canada. In 1975, federal funding was made available for physical education for students with disabilities.
An enormous change occurred in physical education in 1972 with the enactment of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational activity which receives funds from the federal government. Because most educational institutions receive some form of federal funding, Title IX meant women's and girl's sports had to be funded on a basis equivalent to men's and boy's sports.Learn more about K-12
Some disadvantages of physical education in schools are that the class takes up time that could be used for academic subjects, it requires funding that may be difficult for a school and the time given to physical education may not be sufficient for students to have substantial improvements in their physical health. As a result, some states, such as Florida, have considered eliminating the subject from the school curriculum.Full Answer >
Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program created by the National Football League (NFL) and the National Dairy Foundation to help meet physical education and physical activity standards in schools across the U.S. It provides funding and supports wellness initiatives in these schools, including healthier school meals and getting children more physically active.Full Answer >
Most states require that students in elementary schools complete a certain number of physical education hours each week because of its relevance to the development of health and wellness. Children develop many lifelong habits during their elementary years, and physical education provides an understanding of the importance of exercise and the basics of participating in individual and group activities. These experiences contribute to the building of an active lifestyle.Full Answer >
Four objectives of physical education are to help individuals become physically fit, develop character, learn skills and become knowledgeable about sport. Physical education creates well-rounded people.Full Answer >