Examining historical physical education and fitness photos is like reading Hemingway who explained his writing like being an iceberg. What is obviously sticking up in plain view is not the real story.
What’s are the lost messages above? What is obvious is a beautiful woman with boxing gloves. Cool pin up style sort of…next…but wait! There has got to more. 🙂
To the untrained eye, this is just another pretty face; however, let’s examine the photograph for historical evidence of classical physical education. Some very important areas are represented by the photograph.
1. Females were an important part of classical PE including the combatives at times. They were also involved in strength conditioning, calisthenics, gymnastics, cardiovascular training, and more.
2. Two of the four horsemen of “Restorative Arts” are displayed–light dumbbells and Indian Clubs. Both were important restorative tools to help the body maintain natural function and proper posture. The other two “Four Horsemen” were Health Wands and Medicine Balls.
3. There were three important content areas of classical PE. All three are displayed in the photo image because one of them covers two content areas. One classical PE content area was self defense–the “obvious” boxing displayed. The combative sport of boxing was part of the self defense content area along with martial arts, wrestling, etc. Boxing was also a “sport” so part of the pedagogy content area. Sports was under the “Pedagogy” content area which included sports, theory, recreation, play, dance, play, and games. The third content area was the “Restorative Arts” that included the tools explained in item #2–Health Wands and Indian Clubs.
“A picture” can be worth many words…if you know what you are looking at…enjoy…enhanced physical literacy and physical “education.”