From the education of soldiers to a promotion of motor skills: changes in the conception of physical education in Switzerland throughout the twentieth century

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Version: Final published version
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Serval ID
serval:BIB_924EAC6FECB5
Type
A part of a book
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
From the education of soldiers to a promotion of motor skills: changes in the conception of physical education in Switzerland throughout the twentieth century
Title of the book
Education and the Body in Europe (1900-1950)
Author(s)
Quin Grégory, Hayoz Christelle
Publisher
Peter Lang
Publication state
Published
Issued date
15/01/2021
Editor
Polenghi Simonetta, Németh András, Kasper Tomàs
Pages
137-148
Language
english
Abstract
As in many European countries, the creation of a Swiss democratic nation-state during the nineteenth century was based on the establishment of a national school system – free, compulsory and independent from the Churches – that could provide the ‘intellectual’ and ‘moral’ foundations for its citizens, also including some ‘physical’ foundations through physical education (then often referred to as ‘gymnastics’) becoming a mandatory and federal school discipline, and the only one in the Swiss system.
Thus, our ambition with this chapter is to study the several evolution’s phases of the concepts governing the construction of the school discipline ‘physical education’, from the preparation of soldiers at the end of the nineteenth century to the training of future champions in the middle of the twentieth century, especially when in 1964 the Swiss Olympic delegation came back from Innsbruck with no medals, starting a deep and long-lasting change in the way politics was governing the sport field, in the middle of a new approach for PE, centred on motricity and making always more space for the ‘sports’.
In fact, our aim is also to go beyond the idea that sports will gradually influence physical and sports education, as the adaptation and transition from the term gymnastics to that of physical (and sports) education shows. It is a singular object, which influences as much as it is influenced, and it is therefore necessary to go beyond the all too often retained hypothesis of physical education and sport being simply a mirror of the social and political dynamics of its time, considering schools as ‘national body factories’.
Create date
29/11/2020 13:58
Last modification date
04/02/2021 7:25
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