Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Wanxiang Yao & Zenong Yin
Physical education covers a broad field of professionals and scholarly areas. The name of physical education is fast disappearing in higher education language and has been replaced by a variety of names underlying the nature of the discipline, that is, the science of human movement. It studies the biological, mechanical, and sociopsychological dimensions of human movement and its enhancement from birth to death. In American schools, physical education is still a well-recognized name, while its content has been changed from the teaching of athletic skills and physical training to teaching of developmentally appropriate movements and sport and recreational activity skills to promote the health and overall well-being of students. Contrary to the Puritan philosophy, early physical education in colonial America was strongly influenced by muscular Christianity that believed physical fitness and athleticism can facilitate the achievement of moral, religious, and mental growth. It provided confirmation that physical training and competition ...