Contributions of Normal Schools established in 1880s

In early 1880s, physical education mainly comprised of gymnastics and various eclectic programs, as the field sought to establish itself. Later, normal schools were established to provide of a potpourri of activities to replace gymnastics and to ensure adequate development of good health. Continued involvement of people in physical education and sports led to popularization and development of new sporting techniques amongst children and adults. Additionally, new games such as baseball, basketball and footballs were invented. As sports developed further, people had a variety of activities to choose from.

Brief History of Physical Education

Plato who divided education into two major braches; namely music and gymnastics introduced physical education. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, formalized programs were introduced in learning to facilitate body health, fitness and hygiene. In the United States of America, the history of physical education dates back to the nineteenth century. Between 1835 and 1850, physical education became more popular, hence the need to formally introduce it in schools.

How the Establishment of Normal Schools (Teacher Training) for Physical Education Teachers in the 1880s contributed to the History and Growth of Physical Education and Sport

The establishment of normal schools for physical education teachers in the 1880s had great contributions to the history, growth and development of physical education and sports. Tremendous growth has been experienced in physical education and sports since the introduction of normal schools for physical education teachers.

Firstly, normal schools brought together physical educators with diverse cultural and traditional backgrounds. This facilitated sharing of values, views, beliefs, practices and experiences in physical education and sporting. This also gave the physical educators adequate exposure. In my opinion, the normal schools also helped in bridging the gap between traditional sporting and modern or professional sporting by equipping physical educators and sportspersons with relevant knowledge and skills.

Secondly, introduction of normal schools led to the creation of comprehensive training programs for physical educators and sportspersons. This resulted into proper training of physical education teachers. The normal schools also equipped physical educators with vast knowledge and skills for tackling various challenges in physical education and sports, for example, professional coaching techniques. This also led to increased overall performance of sportspersons.

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The institutions also developed contemporary approaches such as Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and Game Sense (GS) for teaching physical education (Lumpkin 246. These new approaches have made teaching and learning sports more pleasurable to both physical educators and learners. Similarly, inclusive curriculums for teaching physical education and sports in schools and colleges were also developed. Curriculums that were development by these normal schools in late 1880s laid a good foundation for present-day curriculums.

Thirdly, the establishment of normal schools in 1880s led to a shift in focus towards physical education and sports. More people became interested and involved in sports resulting into development of sporting facilities such as stadiums and gymnasiums. Thus, establishment of normal school indirectly contributed to development of various sporting activities, especially stadiums and play grounds.

Fourthly, the normal schools also led to the introduction and use of technology in sporting activities. At these institutions, physical educators were taught how to use technology in advancing physical education and sports. Lumpkin also asserts that high-tech equipments were introduced to sporting by these training institutions (161).

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Fifthly, the normal schools also helped in infusion of discipline amongst sportspersons. This was achieved through strict training rules and regulation at the institutions. The institutions also helped in training of sports professionals and specialists such as sports facility managers and supervisory staff for physical education and sports. Towards the end of the nineteen century, some of the normal schools were converted into research institutions for physical educational and sports, thereby adding more knowledge to physical education and sports.

Last but not least, the normal schools helped in increasing awareness about physical education and sports in the society through promotion of sporting activities in elementary schools, colleges and social clubs. This made physical education trainings readily available to interested parties.


In my opinion, the establishment of normal schools greatly contributed to developed and growth of physical education and sports, especially through provision of excellent training to physical educators. Prominent sportsperson, educators and researchers have also been trained in these institutions.

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