Life Concepts Online Project

History of physical education


Johann Bernard Basedow


He was the first to understand physical education's importance which led to other people involving physical education in their teachings, such as Friedrich Jahn. He created a uniform so his students could have unrestricted movement. He included gymnastics as part of his daily curriculum which led to more people educating through active movement. He held a two month summer camp for his students.

Friedrich Jahn


He began teaching a program of outdoor physical education activities for students in the secondary schools where he taught. Some of his methods, such as the balance beam, parallel bars, and rings serve as the fundamental equipment for gymnastics. In fact, he created the first gymnastics club for youth and adults. Charles Beck would bring gymnastics to the United States in 1825, when he began teaching in Northampton, Massachusetts at a reform school modeled after the German system.

Catharine Beecher


She was a founding mother of physical education for girls. Before she opened a girls seminary in 1823 with her sister, girls education focused primarily on teaching foreign language and fine arts such as music and dance. In defiance of convention, girls at her school did calisthenics, going against the notion that girls were too frail for such physical activity. However, well into the 1900s women were discouraged from participating in team sports because it was believed it would make them 'less feminine.'

Denmark's Bill of 1814


This created mandatory physical education for the first time.
This led to more legislation about physical education such as in 1866 when California was the first state to pass laws on physical education. This led to the Normal Institute of Physical Education being founded in Boston in 1861 because it showed that physical education needed to be taken seriously and was an important area of study. This showed the first time people were starting to realize that physical education was important and needed to be included in education.

John Dewey


He led a progressive education movement in America. His child-centered, natural approach to education, led to physical education being included in more schools. Dewey ignited this change because physical education was perceived as a way students could attain some of the social goals for students at the time. The play was believed to be a means to learn in this progressive model of education.

Olympic and Amateur Sports Act


This act followed the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. The act established the United States Olympic Committee. The act gave power to the USOC to help protect athlete's rights. This act established requirements for National Governing Bodies to join the USOC.