The discipline area of physical education has historically struggled for legitimacy, sometimes being seen as a non-serious pursuit in educational terms compared to other subjects within the school curriculum. This book represents the first attempt in nearly thirty years to offer a coherent philosophical defence and conceptualisation of physical education and sport as subjects of educational value, and to provide a philosophically sound justification for their inclusion in the curriculum.
The book argues that rather than relegating the body to “un-thinking” learning, a person’s essential being is not confined to their rationality but involves an embodied dimension. It traces the changing conceptions of the body, in philosophy and theology, that have influenced our understanding of physical education and sport, and investigates the important role that embodiment and movement play in learning about, through and in physical education. Physical education is defended as a vital and necessary part of education because the whole person goes to school, not just the mind, but the thinking, feeling and acting facets of a person. It is argued that physical education has the potential to provide a multitude of experiences and opportunities for students to become aware of their embodiment, explore alternative modes of awareness and to develop insights into and new modes of being not available elsewhere in the curriculum, and to influence moral character through the support of a moral community that is committed to that practice.
Representing a sophisticated and spirited defence of the educational significance and philosophical value of physical education and sport, this book will be fascinating reading for any advanced student or researcher with an interest in physical education, the philosophy of sport or the philosophy of education.
'PE students and researchers would gain value through reading it. Stolz presents a wealth of knowledge on the history of PE, its rival traditions and justifications, the problems of dualism and the value of embodied movement and learning. The text’s polemic style also engages the reader and forces one to question his or her own philosophy of PE.'
‘This is a stimulating book, posing important questions, and hopefully one that will help to clarify exactly what can and should be expected from physical education, and indeed what sort of legacy such events as the Olympics can offer to the educational system.’
‘Few people can lay claim to the creation of a "new tradition", but one-time secondary teacher and current university lecturer Dr Steven Stolz has done just that.’
‘Philosophical work dealing with physical education "has been clearly dwarfed by the work devoted to [philosophy of] sport". Thus, philosophy of physical education has fallen out of fashion, with psychological, sociological and/or postmodernist perspectives dominating research and theorizing about physical education. Stolz’ book on the subject is therefore an important publication.’
'The merit of the book is…that it gives new readers a comprehensive overview of the main sources dealing with questions concerning justification of physical education’s place in educational institutions.'
Chapter 1. On Justifications of Sport and Physical Education: Are There Good Reasons for the Inclusion of Sport and Physical Education Within Educational Institutions? Chapter 2. Philosophical and Theological Positions of the Body: Changing Concepts of the Body and Its Influence Upon Sport and Physical Education Chapter 3. The Unique Place of Physical Education Within Education: The Fluid Concept of Education and the Process of Being "Physically Educated" Chapter 4. The Phenomenon of Play and Its Educational Significance in Physical Education: Why Do Philosophers Talk So Much About Play, Games and Sports? Chapter 5. The Moral Aspects of Sport and Physical Education: Do Sport and Physical Education Provide Unique Opportunities to Develop Moral Character? Chapter 6. MacIntyre, Rival Traditions and Physical Education
The Routledge Studies in Physical Education and Youth Sport series is a forum for the discussion of the latest and most important ideas and issues in physical education, sport, and active leisure for young people across school, club and recreational settings. The series presents the work of the best well-established and emerging scholars from around the world, offering a truly international perspective on policy and practice. It aims to enhance our understanding of key challenges, to inform academic debate, and to have a high impact on both policy and practice, and is thus an essential resource for all serious students of physical education and youth sport.