- 學苑 = GAKUEN (ISSN:13480103)
- vol.872, pp.14-26, 2013-06-01
The author reviews the history and the status quo of European and American physical education and explains that Japanese modern physical education has its origin in Herbert Spencer's Education; Intellectual, Moral, and Physical(1860). The author also discusses several problems in Japanese physical education that contradict the stated goals of the program, and explores measures teachers should take to resolve these contradictions. The problems are as follows. First, children have very few opportunities to learn the rules and histories of sports, though schools introduce a variety of sports into their curriculums. They put too much emphasis on moving the body. Second, since physical education is driven by competitive, results-oriented curriculums in which children do not have many chances to receive individualized instruction that matches each child's ability, physically less able children fall behind and give up, and therefore they are alienated from their teammates. This is not conducive to building team spirit. There have been attempts to address this by deemphasizing rankings and prizes, but this can nullify feelings of achievement. The author concludes that European and American styles of physical education which allow children more freedom to enjoy sports are more effective for nourishing children's all-round personality, and also strongly suggests that adopting "sport pedagogy," a comprehensive science born in recent years, will solve these problems.