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History of Physical Education in Schools

History of Physical Education in Schools

Physical education is an integral part of our education system nowadays. It is embedded in the curriculum of all primary and secondary schools. One of the major reasons why physical education has been made necessary as a part of the learning process is to help promote psychomotor learning. Exercising and physical movement is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Young children must engage in physical education activities such as gymnastics, football, swimming, and even yoga.

History of Physical Education in Schools

Physical education dates back to hundreds of years where it gained immense importance in Europe. The Romans, Greeks, Spartans, and Athenians were the first to make physical education an important part of their education as well as their daily life. With the passage of time, physical education has taken many forms and has been promoted by many famous people such as Johan Simon and Guts Muths. These were among the few people who promoted physical education on a national level. In the United States, Johan Simon was the first physical education teacher who gave this field an equal status along with reading and writing courses. He helped encourage many individuals to take on the path of becoming physical education teachers, which eventually led to the creation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. This association set out rules and standards for athletics and physical education across schools and colleges.

Physical Education Degree Programs

With the growing importance of physical education, a number of universities and colleges offer degree programs in this field. Interested students can opt for degree programs at associate level, bachelor level, and master’s level, and prepare themselves for a career as a physical education teacher. These programs are geared towards helping students understand the theoretical base behind this form of education. Students also gain hands on experience and develop skills necessary for this career.

Career Prospects

Physical education teachers can make a handsome salary of over $24,000 per year. They can work in private and public schools, teaching all grades. Some of the basic job duties include preparing physical education equipment, structure and managing classes, directing students and helping them with physical activities, developing curriculums and coordinating activities.


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