Games and Sports in British Schools and Universities

Games and Sports in British Schools and Universities

Games and Sports in British Schools and Universities

Games and Sports in British Schools and Universities

Excerpt

Universities have existed for many centuries but nation-wide organization of education is a comparatively modern movement. To-day in all countries, except in the most backward, there have developed not only institutions of higher learning but diversified organizations intended to provide at least the rudiments of a general education for all the people. This nation-wide structure of education is the most striking social movement of our day. In no field of human activity are national characteristics more clearly reflected than in the organization, the conduct, and the social and intellectual ideals of systems of public education, and this notwithstanding the apparent identity of types of schools and of the studies pursued.

Those who have to do, therefore, with the educational system of any country have much to learn from the study of schools of other countries if only such studies may go below the externals of organization and courses of study to the underlying ideals and principles upon which the régime for national education is founded. The present study of the place of games and sports in the schools and universities of Great Britain is based upon this conception.

The English-speaking peoples of the world are unique in the place given in their schools and colleges to organized games--games that involve the fundamental principle of team play. The existence of such games, and the rôle they play in the school life of Great Britain, in the British Commonwealth, and in the United States developed naturally out of the life of the people. Whether wise or unwise, whether overextended or not, this development is a normal outgrowth of Anglo-Saxon ideals. It plays to-day an important part in English education and must be taken into account in estimating the results that flow from that system of education as a national institution.

Since this enquiry was begun, the Carnegie Foundation has undertaken a more detailed study of school, college, and university athletics in the United States and Canada. The United States and the Dominion enjoy a relation unusual even among the English-speaking commonwealths. Living side by side, in the heritage of a common mother tongue and of common institutions, they are nevertheless separated by an invisible . . .

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