Physical Education


Beginning of PE

Approx. 1770 - Approx. 1850

-Germany, Sweden, and England influenced the use of physical education on the US
-Germany introduced a system that was made up of gymnastics training
-England showed America how physical activities could help moral development
-these events laid the beginnings of physical education in the united states

The First PE Teacher

January 1, 1774



First private swimming pool. This was made in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

University Gym




-First brought into schools system.
-PE started showing up in more and more school after this
people started to realize the importance of physical activity and what it can do for a person's body.
-gymnastics, hygiene, and care of the human body were also found in the introduction of this curriculum.

Round Hill School


first school in America to make it necessary addition to their educational program.

First College Gym

January 1, 1826

-Charles Follen opens the first college gymnasium at Harvard
-Charles was a German poet that became a professor at Harvard
-This gym was the start of the introduction of physical education in America
-Now the majority of schools have gyms to preform a vast selection of sports in

Important Decisions

1855 - 1900

The decision had to be made of which system would provide the best national Physical Education for the United States.

PE getting started in the US


This was when physical education truly bloomed in the US in the city school system in Cincinnati, Ohio. California shortly followed after them.

First State


California became first state that it was mandatory to have twice a day exercising periods in school.

Three R's

Approx. 1890

The traditional educational system was challenged by John Dewey, who wanted to add PE to the "three r's" to expand it.

Learning should include moving

Approx. 1900

A lot of education psychologists agreed that there was a connection between children's play in a child's ability to learn and them playing.

Physical Education increase

Approx. 1920

many states stated to require physical education

Thomas Wood


-thought that the physical was important for learning
-wrote The New Physical Education which talked about his views on physical education
-medical doctor
-truly help spread the importance of staying active through life


Approx. 1950

More growth in public school systems.

Growth in Elementary levels

Approx. 1950 - 1960

During this time PE grew significantly in the elementary levels.

Colleges and Universities join in


Well over 400 Universities and Colleges were now offering PE as a major for teachers.

America compared to Europe


Study found that American children were far less in shape than European children.

New Test


This test was designed to encourage and get the American students ready for military service.

Decrease in PE

1980 - 1990

Physical fitness saw a lot of cutbacks during this time.