The Platoon School Curriculum and the Diffusion of School Physical Education Programs, 1900-1930. (Sociocultural Aspects of Physical Activity)

Article excerpt

Between 1900 and 1930 the number of school physical education programs multiplied significantly in the United States. Historians of physical education have chronicled this occurrence and offered several explanations for this growth. Their explanations have focused on the role of World War I and the attendant, military conscription, the playground or play movement, and athletic programs. However, it is somewhat surprising that historians have neglected prerequisite changes in the structure and functions of American public schools, particularly urban schools. For it was in the years between 1900 and 1930 that important changes occurred in public education, changes fueled by twin laws for compulsory schooling and against child labor. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the influence of educational reforms and the impact that these reforms had on the diffusion of physical education during the period between 1900 and 1930. The focus of this paper is to review the impact of industrialization, immigration, and u rbanization on educational reforms that led to the development of the platoon school model. The platoon school was developed in Gary, Indiana in 1908 by Gary's school superintendent, William A. …