ERIC Number: ED234045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Sports and Physical Education in American High Schools: Some Historical Reflections.
O'Hanlon, Timothy P.
Public schooling was restructured and reoriented in fundamental ways during the decades immediately preceding the First World War. Schools were engaged in the process of preparing people for specialized work roles, but reformers were also concerned that the schools inculcate common social values. A wide range of extracurricular activities was established during this period and justified on the basis of their cultivating appropriate social attitudes. Prominent physical educators began stressing social and psychological aims of their subject early in the century. Spurred on by the preparedness crisis of World War I, physical education programs for boys did not enter high schools on a large scale until the 1920s. Until then, popular team sports, like football and basketball, usually preceded physical education programs into the high schools and were student controlled, maintained a separate identity, and were "rife with corruption." By the 1920s, athletics were under school control, with competition between teams in most states regulated by conferences. Two controversies continue to surround high school athletics: (1) popularity and intensity of interschool sports; and (2) their exclusiveness. (JMK)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Athletes, Athletic Coaches, Athletics, Basketball, Educational Development, Educational History, Football, High School Students, High Schools, Males, Physical Education, Physical Education Teachers, Public Education, Social Influences, Social Values, Student Participation
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (Minneapolis, MN, April 7-11, 1983).