Is Physical Education in Trouble at the College Level?

By Naylor, Jay H. | JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, August 1997 | Go to article overview

Is Physical Education in Trouble at the College Level?


Naylor, Jay H., JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance


Because of rising costs in education and the constant pressure on university administrators to cut back or eliminate what they determine to be nonessential programs, faculty and staff within physical education colleges are often asked, "Is it important, or necessary, for a university to use its valuable resources to support this type of education"

At several universities across this country, administrators have recently answered this question with a resounding "No, it isn't necessary," and have eliminated their programs dealing with physical development and performance. Many administrators believe that although physical education is important, it should be administered in the secondary schools. It is their opinion that students should come to the university already instructed in personal hygiene and physical fitness so that they may then give their full attention to intellectual pursuits. Some administrators believe this would save millions of dollars and help reduce pressure on students, who already struggle to graduate in four years in the face of increased university requirements. The extra money could be used to meet the needs of other academic programs within the university.

Such feelings greatly concern those who are committed to the values of physical education, health, recreation, and dance. It is particularly disturbing when administrators with little or no understanding or appreciation of the values of physical education - and who are usually in power for only a brief period of time - make decisions that will negatively affect future generations. An important principle underlies the need for physical education: When people gain control of their bodies, they gain control of their lives. As a person gains control of life, stress and stress-related illnesses are reduced, boredom and depression are decreased, and positive alternatives to many of life's common problems are recognized and appreciated. With dedicated effort and the benefit of a well-rounded education, an individual can develop a body that is tuned and capable of desired responses. The impact of increased energy and enthusiasm on the achievements and contributions of an individual is immeasurable.

An age-old question asks, "What is the relationship of beauty to utility? …

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Is Physical Education in Trouble at the College Level?
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