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DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION
President- BARONESS Rose Posse, president, Posse Normal School of Gym-
.. Boston, Mass.
TUESDAY FORENOON, JULY 2, 1918 In the absence of the officers of this department Randall D. Warden, of Newark, was placed in the chair as presiding officer, with Gerhard E. N. Havekotte, of Pittsburgh, as secretary.
After the novel feature of opening the meeting by singing a few patriotic hymns and war songs, conducted by James McIlroy, Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa., the meeting was called by the chairman,
The first paper on the program, entitled “The Strength of a Nation Promoted thru Physical Education,” given by W. Fowler Bucke, of Geneseo, N.Y., brought out, thru discussion, the need of a national campaign and the indispensable aid of nurses in this campaign.
All discussions were limited to five minutes.
The second paper was on "Physical Training for Delinquents.” This address was given by Olive M. Jones, principal, Probationary School, New York, N.Y. Many good points were mentioned, showing that the author had given a great deal of study to her subject.
The third paper, “The Influence of Physical Education on the Development of the Individual,” was given by S. H. Replogle, Pittsburgh, Pa. The statistics in this and the previous paper showed that if more investigations were made, physical training would be given a higher standing.
These were followed by "Effects of Physical Education on School Morale," given by May H. Prentice, Kent, Ohio, and "Physical Education in Rural Schools,” by Lawrence S. Hill, Albany, N.Y.
Mr. Warden spoke briefly on his subject, “Creed of Physical Education,” to allow time for the business meeting which followed.
A paper on “The Policy of New York State with Regard to Physical Training" was given by James G. Riggs, Oswego, N.Y.
Clara G. Baer, of New Orleans, La., presented a paper entitled “Women and the War,” and Helen L. Gregory, Rochester, N.Y., one on “Effective Health Education Thru Public Schools.”
Miss Esther Watson, Boston, Mass., presented the following proposals as a basis for discussion and action, which were adopted:
Resolutions adopted by the Department of Physical Education.
WHEREAS, We, the Department of Physical Education of the National Education Association, realize the war necessities of a higher degree of physical fitness for our future fighters and present home workers and of an ample provision for the physical reeducation of disabled soldiers, be it
Resolved, That we define the fundamental distinction between military training and physical education, namely, that military training is one among a number of vocational occupations, whereas physical education is the upbuilding development and efficient management of the human body and consequently is the foundation for all life-work, physical, mental, and spiritual.
Resolved, That we seek to establish, in connection with governmental educational and medical agencies, scientific research for the betterment of our knowledge of physical reconstruction work and physical standards which will provide and secure the enactment of laws for such discoveries.
Resolved, That we extend to the consideration of superintendents, normal schools, teachers and students of physical education, and all educational institutions the need for greater activity in providing a strong personnel for these new demands of physical education. That we seek to cooperate with all community agencies for health and recreation and suggest for local needs the formation of a community health council, including a representative from the Community Center Association, the Playground and Recreation Association, Scouts and other clubs, the Young Men's Christian Association, the Young Women's Christian Association, the Knights of Columbus, Young Men's Hebrew Association, the chamber of commerce and commercial amusement places.
Resolved, That play be incorporated in all normal-school courses, with credit toward a degree.
Resolved, That the Department of Physical Education of the National Education Association recommend and urge that boards of public education make physical training a major subject, with at least equal rating with all other school subjects, and that adequate facilities, teachers, playfields, and apparatus be provided.
The whole atmosphere of this session was to meet the great public awakening to the need and value of physical training as disclosed by the war and army draft.
The officers elected for the coming year were:
G. E. N. HAVEKOTTE,
PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS
THE STRENGTH OF A NATION PROMOTED THRU PHYSICAL
W. FOWLER BUCKE, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND PRACTICE, STATE
NORMAL SCHOOL, GENESEO, N.Y. It is preferable to use the term physical education rather than physical training, since the idea is education thru the physical approach, and not merely the training of the nature-muscular mechanism. It will include physical education thru gymnastics and games, educational hygiene and health, and athletics. It will have for its aim to "make children healthful, vigorous, strong, happy, and efficient,” or, to be more explicit, to build muscle, to train muscular coordination, to overcome physical defects, especially posture, and to develop traits of character which come thru muscular control.
The second consideration must be the meaning of national strength. It is understood to mean the survival of the nation or state most fit to survive when put to the supreme test. Perhaps in an ideal and coming democracy this means the combination of many factors into an organic unity. The organic unity making for national strength is one of men and resources, or men in control of resources—the control over industry, communication, chemical and physical forces, etc. In short, the strength of a nation depends upon the character of its citizens in relation to each other and to their territorial domain, and upon their ideals of individual and community life.
Accepting these positions, it must be determined to what extent physical education accomplishes national strength. Neither opinion nor instrument can measure this to the satisfaction of all. That in the evolution of nations it was greatly strest history confirms. The ideals embodied in Achilles and the mythological interpretations of physical power, where ideals and gods are synonymous, are known to all. The reliance of Greece was placed upon her citizens. This dynamic ideal among the Greeks came to develop a physical consciousness that made him ashamed to strip who lackt physical symmetry. It represented an education which was more than half physical. They would have styled it the fundamentals of an education and of national strength.
The support of the city state in Greece is typical of that in Rome. But with the advent of Christianity came a markt change. Pagan civilization did not satisfy, pagan literature was banisht. Physical education was not essential, for a new and spiritual kingdom was the ideal. Vith the Sermon on the Mount as the law of life and the reign of love as the world-ideal, physical education as a preparation for war must cease.
At the same time and parallel with this doctrine went that of the feudal lords. Their protection rested upon physical education, with reckless courage and daring. Thus the sons of noblemen and gentlefolk should be prepared physically for that which in modern parlance would be styled national defense.
It remained for a statesman, a philosopher, a diplomat, a scientist, and a modern psychologist, all combined in one man, to give to the world in acceptable form a principle that has stood the test of both experiment and opinion. It is that of a sound mind in a sound body. Here the messages of biology, physiology, and psychology meet. With John Locke's contribution the thinking world is satisfied.
Man, both physically and mentally, is the resultant of all racial activities of the centuries. His life is an epitome of the progress of the world, so to speak. We are told that the world in all the centuries has been at peace but 227 years. It is reasonable to expect that whatever of physical education we have has been the result of military training. The fitness of the soldier depends upon the child's being physically fit. One need but compare the two types of training to observe how the military justly carries out the general scheme of physical education. This being true, the program of physical education is the program of military education fitting the premilitary or preprofessional period.
That department of physical education most unconscious, or most truly instinctive, is play. Some delight to call it unlearned behavior. A careful study of the plays of children shows their value as the conserving force of all that is good and valuable for the future, transmitted from the past, and shows how the physical carries over into the mental as mind and soul qualities function. Here are the early and more purely physical activities involving first the fundamental muscles, then the necessary. The progress is into cooperative activities of parts of body. The individualistic nature of games leads by and by to cooperation and leadership, developing finally a sense of superiority, dignity, endurance, and courage, while inspiring confidence and giving real virtue and general virility. With it comes the real, naïve spirit of cooperation, leadership, simplicity of life, and dash so useful to national spirit. From the kindergarten thru elementary and high school the logical work of one who directs is simply to round out, complete, or supplement the spontaneity of child life, that play may be enricht, initiative and inventive genius expanded, reservation converted into devotion, and principles of honesty and fairness fostered. The further purpose is that the play habit may be acquired and carried thruout life. Thus play becomes a real, national asset.
The same natural function of physical adolescence is found in athletics. Perhaps this is true, as someone has observed, because love and war are so closely connected that individual pugnacity is greatly increast at sexual maturity, and a new sense of organization arises, making the team possible.
Here are developt new schools of mental and moral training. There must be conformity to rule of the game, self-subordination or the struggle for an ideal, the sacrifice hit, the unflinching interest in the group, the leveling of all to a spirit of human sympathy and recognition. Here come the sense of honor and the idea to win for the sake of an external end. Dr. Sargent says that athletics affords a wealth of new and profitable topics for discussion and enthusiasm which helps against triviality and mental vacuity, prompts discussion of diet and regimen, gives new standards of honor, supplies motive against all errors and vices that weaken or corrupt the body, and is a vent for reckless courage and respect for deeds.
In addition to these values native or instinctive possibilities provide motivation for health and hygiene involved in corrective and other gymnastic exercises of the more truly conscious sort. Who has not seen the value of these for posture, the right use of the margin, a love for the outdoors, a study of the problems of digestion, the general interpretation of symptoms, and the development of a wholesome optimism? Who can estimate the value of medical inspection and the work of the school nurse? Thru the efforts of Dr. McCurdy and others the public is learning the relation of physical education to the defective body, and how one otherwise a dependent may be made self-supporting. In this respect the director of physical education parallels the work of the good Samaritan and more, for he not only relieves the unfortunate, as it were, but keeps the thieves out of the narrow passes and makes the country safe.
THE INFLUENCE OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION ON THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDIVIDUAL
S. H. REPLOGLE, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, ALLEGHENY
COUNTY, PA. The aims of physical training, says Dr. Sargent, may be included under four general heads: hygienic, educative, recreative, and remedial. That it does improve the health, that it does give the body skill in executing the commands of the mind, and that it is recreative and remedial I think we accept without question. But does physical education produce these qualities and conditions and make them contributory to the ultimate end of all education to a degree sufficient to give it a place of first importance on the daily program of the school ?
In spite of all the testimony as to its value as a part of a scheme of education, physical training has had little place in the curriculum or on the program of the school. With reference to it little has been done to make practice harmonize with theory, or to test out theory to determine whether it holds good in practice. About the only attempt at education with physical development as a fundamental basis was that of the ancient Greeks. They emphasized the development of the body for three reasons: (1) the attainment of individual strength and courage as a means of national defense, (2) the establishment of a physical basis for mental development, and (3) the cultivation of the beautiful in form and proportion. Can we conceive of what the world might have gained had their philosophy not been lacking in moral stability?
Is there not reason to believe that the development of physical health, strength, and endurance, out of their true relation to right ideals and true moral purposes, has had something to do with making Germany the powerful, dangerous, brutal, and criminal outlaw that has drencht all Europe in blood and brought all the rest of the world to the defense of justice, mercy, truth, and right?
When we entered the war, far too few of our young men had the properly balanst physical, mental, and moral qualities necessary for immediate service. And now we find ourselves in a frantic effort to qualify a sufficient force to outdistance and defeat the Hun.
It has taken a pretty severe jolt to break the tie that has been binding us to the tradition of the past and to get us out of the feeling that our problem is largely that of informing and reforming the minds of boys and girls and of making them familiar, as far as it is possible to do so, with the