A Notion for Motion: Differing Views on Modern Physical Education Temple University
KIN 4296: History and Philosophy of Kinesiology
Tuesday October 15, 2013
Eleanor Metheny, born in Manhattan, Illinois in 1908, was a pioneer in the physical education community for four decades. She attended public school outside of Chicago and moved on to a university in the city. After attending the University of Chicago, where she studied English and mathematics, Metheny made her unintentional entry into physical education as an algebra teacher. At her new school, the math teacher typically taught the physical education classes as well as their designated math classes (Leigh & Studer, 1983). Later, Metheny served as a professor at the University of California for 29 years. She believed that physical helped to augment movement through which children could “express, explore, discover, and interpret their world” (Shimon, 2011). Metheny published more than 150 articles, papers, and studies, proved instrumental in creating the country’s first graduate program in physical education, and championed women’s equality in sports. After retirement, Metheny worked in physical education at Pegasus Learning Center at USC. Metheny was most recognized as always being on the cutting edge of her profession (Leigh & Studer, 1983). Eleanor Metheny’s work will continue to influence the field of physical education for many years.
Jesse Feiring Williams was both in 1886 in Kenton Ohio. He attended college at Oberlin College where physical education became an interest. At Oberlin, he served as a tutor, coach, and director of athletics. After graduating, Williams taught physical education at the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind. After returning from service in World War II, Williams received his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He then began association with Teachers College where after four years, he was promoted to professor and chairman of the Physical Education department. He remained at Teachers College for 18 years before going into early retirement. It was at Teachers College where Williams developed new concepts on physical education, health education, and dance. During his time in the field, Williams authored of co-authored an astounding 41 books, including the famed Principles of Physical Education (Kretchmar & Gerber, 1983). Jesse Feiring Williams served as a pioneer in the physical education field, and his revelations continue to impact the field.
In her article, The Third Dimension in Physical Education, Eleanor Metheny takes a monistic approach to understanding the concept of physical activity. Metheny begins her article by describing the three-dimensional process that is modern education. She explains the three-dimensional process as the one-dimensional training of the mind, the two dimensional education of mind-body unity, and the three-dimensional interconnection of mind-body-emotions (Metheny, 1954). Similar to Metheny’s monistic views are Jesse Feiring William’s in the article Education Through the Physical. Williams initiates the article with the following striking statement. “No one can examine earnestly the implications of physical education without facing two questions. These are: Is physical education an education of the physical? Is physical education an education through the physical?” He elaborates further on education of the physical, stating that supporters indicate chief outcomes as firm ligaments and strong muscles, which demonstrates the dualistic view. On the other hand, education through the physical embarks on the monistic route, based on the biologic unity of mind and body, viewing life as a totality (Williams, 1930). Because both Williams and Metheny advocated for the monistic view, there are many similarities in their articles. The ways in which the two authors describe physical education gravitate toward the same...
References: Leigh, M., & Studer, G. (1983). Eleanor metheny. Journal of Physical education, recreation & dance , 54(7), 74-77. doi:10.1080/07303084.1983.10630510
Shimon, J. (2011). Introduction to teaching physical education with online student resource: principles and strategies. United States: Sheridan Books.
Kretchmar, R. S., & Gerber, E. (1983). Jesse feiring williams: A philosophical and historical review. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance , 54(1), 16-20. doi: 10.1080/07303084.1983.10631199
Odegard, D. (1970). Locke and mind -body dualism. Royal Institute of Philosophy, 45(172), 87-105. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3749796
Johnson, E. (1970). Monism and dualism. The Monist, 28(4), 624-629. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27900714
Metheny, E. (1954). The third dimension in physical education. Journal of Health,
Physical Education, and Recreation, 25, 27-28.
Feiring Williams, J. (1930). Education through the physical. The Journal of Higher Education, 1(5), 279-282. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1973984
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