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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 11. June 26, 1952

Phys. Ed.... — The Greeks and the College

page 4

Phys. Ed....

The Greeks and the College

It is Important to any future understanding of this College's policy in respect of student health and physical welfare to explain something of what is meant by Physical Education and outline in more detail what steps are being taken to see that policy effected. In general a false conception of the nature and purpose of Physical Education persists in the minds of many and is for the most part based on the old principles of "physical training" or "physical culture."

Physical Education may well be defined as "that phase of education through physical activities." The comprehensiveness of scope implied in this definition claims for physical education a very much wider field of influence than is or would be recognised by the general public.

Because of its broad and ever expanding field of sillily the principles of physical education must have a scientific foundation, and while it is here impossible to describe fully the extent to which this requirement has been metenumera tion of Home recent fields of research should indicate the efforts bring made to provide a sound bails for future development.

Studies have been made in problems relating in body mechanics, character education in physical education, physical ability and capacity, organic development, health, strength, endurance, classification methods, athletics, games and sports, and medical examinations.

Much of our physical education to-day has Its beginnings in ancient Greece. Almost identical somes, athletics, individual contests, and dances formed activities based on philosophy similar to our own. With the Greeks physical education was not a mere disciplinary procedure, not a method of formal cahathenics, not a way of developing bulging muscles, not a programme of mechanical arm and leg movements wedged in between lecture periods: but a way of living, a search for beauty and national virility. It was a part of their educational system aimed at the development of the whole individual, albeit in the interesta of the State. Although they were vitally aware of spiritual mental and physical elements, nevertheless they were equally aware of the essential unity or the human organism. Self confidence, poise, courage, self-control were elements of character claimed by the Greeks as the outcome of their system of physical education.

Physical education objectives must be based on principles that ore formulated from the needs of society, and society requires of the university that it produce students capable of shouldering their full responsibilities as professional citizens.

It is realised that accommodation facilities in this college cannot but adversely affect the University's efforts to fulfil her role. Responsibly to themselves and to the community must be faced by many hundreds of students who will pans through the college before conditions can he greatly improved, and this can be adequately undertaken only if those students make better use of such opportunities for a fuller university life as now exist.

Many groups within the college provide extra-curricular activities that mean much to those who give their interest and support. The physical education department of the college hopes to provide such aspects of a university education as can be Rained moat readily through physical activity. For some time it la probable that facilities may permit only recreational activities but the development of fields must rest on the importance with which each student regards his or her own physical, well being.

The programme of activities already established and the relative merits of physical education activities will be considered later.


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