Physical Education during The Enlightenment: History and Immediate Affects

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From kindergarten to twelfth grade, one may be required to take many different types of physical education and health classes. In the first few years they more than likely would have learned some of the basic movements: hop, skip, jump, and gallop. As the years pass, they would go on to learn how to play different sports and proceed to specialize in different aspects of sports. Today the United States is facing an epidemic in which parents could outlive their children due to unhealthy bodies. The physical well being of the younger generation is a hot topic in many different school districts, as many children are not active enough. However physical education was not always promoted to children throughout history. One of the first …show more content…
One of the main focuses during this time was the concentration on science, mainly regarding the human body and health. Previously the church had seen physical activity as a negative aspect to life. “The majority of Christians believed that to participate in athletics or engage in physical training to glorify the body would contaminate the body, which housed the soul, and would make the soul impure.” Although this is not true for all Christians, many did believe that it was their duty to purify their bodies and fulfill Gods plans for their body. Before the Age of enlightenment, physical activity was primarily used as, “a way for young men to develop the skills and strength necessary to be a warrior.” During this time the majority of society was receiving their physical activity through performing common household chores and tending farming land.
The Age of Enlightenment brought many new experiments to the forefront, although not always in the eyes of the public. Behind closed doors philosophers, soon to become considered scientists, were beginning to perform autopsies and researching how bones work in the body. While research of the body was being performed many new theories began to evolve. Concentration on public health and exercise began to become a large issue throughout many countries. Physical education was beginning to be taught in the classroom, however “where it did exist it was usually associated with education of the

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