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Definitions of Physical Education | Aims of Physical Education | Objectives of Physical Education

Definitions of Physical Education | Aims of Physical Education | Objectives of Physical Education

Table of Contents

Definitions of Physical Education

Physical education, as the very name denotes is an integral part of education which uses movement as the medium of education. Movement is a gift of nature and through this gift, children begin their growth and development. Physical education has been defined in many ways by the leaders in this field:

According to Rosalind Cassidy, “Physical education is the sum of changes in the individual caused by experiences centring in motor activity”.

According to Delbert Oberteufer, “Physical education is the sum of those experiences which come to the individual through movement.”

According to C. C. Cowell, “Physical education is the social method of change in the behaviour of the human organism, originating primarily from the stimulus of social, big muscle play and related activities.”

According to Charles Bucher, “Physical education is important part of the total education process and has its objective, the development of physically, mentally, emotionally and socially fit citizens through the medium of physical activities which have been selected with a view to realising their outcomes.

The above noted definitions of physical education have the following three things in common:

(i) That physical education is an important part of education.

(ii) That this field of education deals with movement and its related responses.

(iii) That its aim is the development of physical, mental, moral and social qualities in people.

Physical education is therefore a process which depends on physical activities for realising the objectives. It tries to bring about required changes in the behaviour and attitudes of individuals through physical activities.

Aims of Physical Education

Since physical education has been accepted as an important part of education, it is necessary that the objective of education and physical education should be the same. The aim of education is reflected in the aims of education which have been laid down by the educationists as:

  1. Promotion of health,
  2. Development of basic methods,
  3. Worthy home membership,
  4. Vocation,
  5. Citizenship,
  6. Proper use of leisure, and
  7. Moral character.

Keeping in view these aims, we can conclude that the objective of education should be the achievement of successful living. Objective of education reflects the philosophy of the times or the expectations of those times and therefore it may change from time to time. However, according to the present-day expectations from the system of education, the objective of education should be to “Develop in each individual the knowledge, interests, ideals, habits and powers whereby he will find his place and use that place to shape both himself and society towards ever nobler ends.” From this definition, it becomes clear that the objective of education is to develop full potentials of a person so that he may contribute to his own welfare and welfare of society.

The objective of physical education should be similar to the objective of education in order to demonstrate their intimate relationship. Therefore, the objective of physical education should be to influence the experiences of individuals in such a way that each and every person while performing his duties as a citizen, should be able to satisfy his wants.

In simple words, we can simply say that the objective of physical education is to develop person to such an extent that he may be able to live most and serve best.

Objectives of Physical Education

Objectives are the specific and definite steps which lead to the acheivement of an objective. For the acheivement of objectives, we lay down our goals which are more easier things which help in reaching our objectives. To make the things simple, we can say that if the objective of physical education is to enable person to live a happy life then the objectives for the achievement of this aim should be the development of:

(1) strength, and

(2) muscular co-ordination etc.

Without the development of these two qualities or objectives, it would not be possible to fulfil the aim. Objectives are therefore small achievable goals or targets that contribute to the attainment of an aim. The relation between aim and objectives can be shown where all the objectives lead to the’ achievement of an aim. It is important to lay down the objectives for the achievement of an aim. In order to achieve the aim of physical education, the following objectives have been laid down:

  1. Physical development:

(i) Proper growth and development.

(ii) Proper functioning of several systems of the body.

(iii) Development of skills by better neuromuscular co-ordination.

(iv) Development of power and endurance.

  1. Psychological development:

(i) Development of healthy interests and attitudes.

(ii) Contentment and channelising of emotions.

(iii) Removing worry and tension etc. through participation in sports.

  1. Social development such as:

(i) Developing qualities of sympathy and cooperation with all others.

(ii) Becoming able member of home or society.

  1. Moral development:

(i) Development of self-control.

(ii) Development of sportsmanship.

(iii) Developing leadership merits.

(iv) Development of personality

  1. Improvement in knowledge such as:

(i) Acquiring knowledge of rules and regulations of games, sports and exercise.

(ii) Knowing health problems and their prevention.

Modern Concept of Physical Education

Earlier, physical education was considered only the pursuit of activities such as running, jumping, throwing of implements, fighting and hunting that were thought as survival insurance activities. With the passage of time, all these activities became a sourcen display of skill, strength and achievement.

With the progress of man in his widening environment, came the best ablishment of several institutions of society, such as home, school, religious places and government etc. With the establishment of all these institutions, physical activities of man took different roles and Outlook. The needs of the past took a backstage in comparison to the needs of the changed times. The activities of the past became an integral part of the changed times. Games and other physical activities, which are our inborn and inherent tendencies, appeared on the school life scene. In the starting no importance was attached to such activities asbeducation concentrated only on the development of mental faculties by the lessons of grammar and mathematics.

Soon it was realized that putting emphasis on academic pursuit could not help the children in their required growth and development and that physical activities could make a valuable contribution in achieving this aim. It also began to be realized that physical activities also contribute for the mental development of a child and that actual aim of education can only be achieved by an all-round development of a child, for which role of physical activities cannot be denied

It is this need and importance of physical activities in the development of all round personality of a child that has led to the acceptance of physical education as necessary part of education. This view of treating physical education as an integral and indivisible part of education is the present concept or viewpoint of physical education.

Physical education by promoting physical, mental, moral and social development of individuals can surely contribute in the achievement of the aim of education that is in no way different from the aim of physical education.

Scope of Physical Education

Physical education has been accepted as a great potential in shaping individuals and society at large. Its scope is reflected in the aims of its programmes. By realising these aims of physical, mental, moral and social development of an individual, physical education can make him to live most and serve best. Living a fully satisfying and purposeful life is the aim of every individual that can only be achieved by a sound programme of physical education activities that promote vigour and vitality through the development of various organic systems and merits in the body. Through the attainment of these two factors only, can a man accomplish various tasks of life and can achieve something very great in life.

Physical education programmes also help in proper expression of natural interests and desires of children and help in the development of desirable character and personality traits.

Physical activities not only help a person in his own betterment but also make him to contribute his might towards the upliftment of society in which he lives by becoming a good home member, a teacher, a factory worker or a leader. In this way, he will not only lift his own social standard, but also lead to the making of a healthy society or a nation.

Healthy and able members of a society, help in enhancing the economic status of that society, because of their potential to work hard and for long times. Thus, physical education programmes ensuring proper health of individuals can also raise the economic standard of a nation.

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