The Emergence of Physical Education as a Subject for Compulsory Schooling in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century: The Case of Phokion Heinrich Clias and Adolf Spiess
Keywords:schooling, curriculum, physical education, nation-building, philantropic education
In general, schooling and nation-building are associated with the unifying role of language and history education, since language and culture are perceived as fundamental pillars of the nation. Less discussed—at least regarding the curriculum—is the role of physical education, even if physical education was a highly political issue in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Based on a case study of Switzerland and textbooks for physical education by Adolf Spiess and the activities of Phokion Heinrich Clias for the Bernese school, this article discusses how physical education, distinct from the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’ care for the body, became a school subject of the nineteenth century compulsory schools and how it was related to the notion of nation and nation-building. It argues that physical education became first part of the “modern” philanthropic education and schooling, was soon taken for granted as an essential curricular component of nation-building and lost thereby the political threat.
This is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles featured in the journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with definition of open access as formulated by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI). All authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the NJEdH the right of first publication. The work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which allows others to share and distribute the work as long as it is attributed to the author and its initial publication in the NJEdH is acknowledged.
- Authors are encouraged to distribute the work themselves with information on its initial publication in the NJEdH, e.g. upload it to open repositories linked to their personal website or institutional affiliation, or publish it in a book.
The NJEdH is permitted non-exclusive distribution of the work, with attribution to the author, e.g. in a print book themed anthology.