Issues in Physical Education: Historical, Philosophical & Social

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Liability & Legal Considerations for Physical Education

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Issues in Physical Education
  • 0:42 Historical Issues
  • 3:04 Philosophical Issues
  • 4:02 Social Issues
  • 5:42 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

What are some of the current issues in physical education? Check out this lesson to see how physical education has changed over the years and what issues educators are up against today.

Issues in Physical Education

There have been major changes in physical education over the years. Physical education is now defined as the overall development of health and wellness. It's no longer seen as just a separate class or subject, but an integrated content area with its own standards and objectives. People everywhere are recognizing the importance of physical education beyond the focus on movement, and its role in creating a healthy lifestyle.

Current research, improved resources, and specified standards have all enlightened people to see how vital physical education is in elementary and secondary schools. Let's take a look at some specific historical issues.

Historical Issues

Physical education is important in providing a healthy lifestyle for Americans. Documents from the Surgeon General's Report, the Healthy People Report 2000, and the Center for Disease Control's guidelines showed that generally people are inactive, have a poor diet, and are overweight. In turn, we are realizing the impact physical education can have.

Physical education teachers have a curriculum with goals, objectives, and assessments to help students realize how to lead healthy lives. Experiences in a physical education classroom don't just develop movement. They help students learn and practice ways to stay healthy and fit.

Physical education wasn't always required to be offered in schools until after the Civil War. Then, in the 1900s it became more of a focus. Since Eisenhower, many American presidents have placed an emphasis on physical fitness. Eisenhower created the President's Council on Youth Fitness, which eventually led to the development of the Presidential Fitness Test Award, intended to prepare young Americans for the military.

Then, in 1972, the Title IX federal law prohibited sexual discrimination. Many physical education programs at the time separated girls and boys during class. With the introduction of Title IX, it was suggested that they form homogeneous classes based on the following principles:

  1. Physical education classes cannot be conducted separately on the basis of gender.
  2. Students may be grouped by ability, even if it results in more of one sex in a specific group.
  3. Students may be separated by gender in class for specified sports with physical contact such as wrestling and boxing.
  4. Standards can be changed or modified to avoid gender bias.

Research supports the fact that physical education classes aid in the physical and mental health of all individuals. In addition to preschool programs becoming more prominent across schools, new physical education guidelines are required. There's an increasing number of schools that are creating pre-K programs. A quality early childhood education is known to have a positive impact on a child's overall development. Physical education teachers are learning to help pre-k students thrive in their classrooms as they adhere to specified early childhood standards.

Let's see current trends that include all students as part of the physical education classroom.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account