Mentality of American physical educators toward sports
at the turn of the 20th century
Kiichi OTAGIRI (Nara Wmen's University, Faculty of Letters)
This paper is intend to ascertain the mentality, that is to say professional
attitude of American physical educators toward at the turn of the 20th century.
Up to that time, athletic sports have undergone new and startling developments.
Then first national association to represent professional workers interested in
physical education have already organized at 1885- This organization is known by
the name of the "American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education
It is confirmed that the membership of the AAAPE has predominated by major
two groups. First group is made up of teachers in higher educational institutions,
namely, colleges and universities. Second group is made up of teachers in YMCA
institutions. Disputes over a point of promoting in physical education and historical
facts cited in this paper are based on the growing process of the AAAPE and
the American Physical Education Association (APEA), which is changed the name
of AAAPE in 1903.
Essential purports of this paper are as follow.
Professional attitude of physical educators toward sports are characterized
by the disgust or the prejudice against violent competition and excessive exercise,
which have become increasingly conspicuous in collegiate athletics. These are
reflected on the professional anxiety of physical educators that the enticement into
collegiate athletics, must be hostile to the normal practice of gymnastic educa-
Physical educators who are typically able to take a position of college teacher
recommend proudly their physical training systems with intent to make prescription
with gymnastics. It seems to be a reactive attitude that does not cope with the
transition of physical education at that day. The content of physical education
has been making a transition from the gymnastics program to the sports program.
Physical educators who are typically able to take a position of YMCA teacher
hopefully recommend game and sport activities for the expectation of educational
effect. They modify (and/or deform) games and sports according to their educational
needs and they make practical applications of these activities to bring up harmoni-
ous all-round men. It seems to be a flexible attitude that promotes physical educa-
tion adapted to the times.