History of Physical Education

Development of physical actvity in the school curriculum

Johann Bernhard Basedow

September 11,1724 - July 25, 1790

German reformer who was one of the first to see the benefits of physical activity and introduced it into the the school curriculum. He also began the modernization of gymnastics.

Johann Christoph Friedrich (Guts Muth)

August 9, 1759 - May 21, 1839

A German who introduced physical systematic exercises in school and developed the principles for gymnastics. He also published the first systematic textbook for gymnastics.

Friedrich Ludwig Jahn

January 1, 1810

A German who is considered the "Father of modern gymnastics" because he introduced many of the different gymnastic activities and incorporated them into the school curriculum.

Promotion of gymnastics in schools


This promotion began in Jahn's school in Berlin led to gymnastics clubs developing in Europe.

Charles Beck


First official PE teacher in America and taught German Gymnastics

Dr. Dudley Allen Sargent

September 28,1849 - July 21,1924

Started a gymnastic club in high school. In 1878 he instructed gymnastics at Yale College.

American Physical Education Association


founded to support gymnastics in education

physical education in Europe

Dr. Thomas Arnold

1795 - 1824

conducted a social control through games and prevent bullying

1814 AD Denmark's Bill of 1841

1814 AD

First ever mandatory physical education

Physical education spread throughout Europe

April 29,1820

Gymnasiums are built throughout Europe in Sweden, Germany, and Finland

Martina Sofia Helena

October 7, 1849

Swedish physical education instructor; founded first physical education instructor's college in England only allowed for women

The Model Course


reformed physical education to military drill because in 1899 when volunteers for the army signed up less than half of them were fit enough; asked schools to have teachers who were trained properly in the army gymnastics course

Physical Education in America

started with

First school to have a physical education curriculum


Round Hill School; geared towards males

1823 AD Catherine Beecher

1823 AD

Started an early form of aerobics

Charles Follen

1825 - 1826

opened the first college gym at Harvard and the first public gym in Boston

1861 AD The Normal Institute of Physical Education founded in Boston

1861 AD

Association for the Advancement of Physical Education

November 27, 1885

William G. Anderson held a meeting for those who were interested in becoming a professional physical educator and formed the Association for Advancement of Physical Education.

Committee on Women's Athletics


created by the American Physical Education Association

Physical education gaining recognition in United States Colleges

July 29, 1950

most of the United States universities had majors in physical education

Title IX

November 2,1972

banned sexual discrimination in schools for athletics and academics

Universal changes in physical education

changes around the world

Pehr Henrik Ling

November 15, 1776 - May 3,1839

pioneered the teaching of physical education; taught fencing at Lund University in 1805; experienced the benefits of physical activity and then worked to promote exercising

schools focusing on physical education

January 1, 1820

first modern physical education movement centered on physical fitness

First modern olympics


occurred in Athens and inspired many young people to exercise

application of teamwork

1919 - 1933

PE included teaching loyalty, rules, teamwork, and competition

Changes to Physical Education

1952 - 1972

exercises are gender specific and an emphasis on free movement rather than discipline is placed; swimming and dance is placed on the syllabus for PE; PE in elementary schools are changed to more freedom and exploration from disciplined