How “PE” or “Physical Activity Education” Should React to the Arrival of the Discipline: Kinesiology

Earle F. Zeigler


Throughout human history a sort of mind-body-spirit “trichotomy” developed with “affairs of the body” having the lowest status.. A subject-matter termed “physical education” was finally introduced to America in the late 1800s by “physical activity enthusiasts” from European lands. Down through the twentieth century, physical education spawned a variety of other fields within education (e.g., health education). However, unprecedented confusion has prevailed since the question of “disciplinary status” for the field arose about 60 years ago. A disciplinary title, “kinesiology”, was to be substituted for that of physical (activity) education at the university level, a term used only for one course originally taught in the curriculum in the early 20th century.  Whatever develops, those “kinesiologists” serving the field of education should understand that their mission is to work as physical activity and health educators with ALL of the children in the schools.

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International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

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