The Relevance of Physical Education in General Education
Soul without body, mind without matter and education without ‘movement’ are meaningless concepts. The basis of man’s existence is primarily physical. The cognitive, intellectual and social aspects of personality stand on a secondary plane. They exist and develop in relation to the physique only.
According to the law of Nature, the first lesson of education a child learns is the lesson of “body movement”. Movement is the basis of growth and development. The development of neuro-muscular system is a prerequisite to perceptual and cognitive development.
Therefore, the primacy of ‘movement education’-informal or formal in the orbit of education is well-established. Children become conscious of their body and its movements much before they become conscious of mental processes and abilities.
Education may mean different things to different people but the essence of all definitions of education is that it should afford equal opportunities to all for optimal development of their potential.
It should draw out the best in child. This broad-based and comprehensive view of education takes cognizance of all the factors that contribute to the harmonious development of human personality.
The development of brain without corresponding development of the brawn is hazardous. Therefore, the importance of physical education as a core curricular activity must be recognized.
Both education and physical education are doing phenomena. Modern educationists do not subscribe to “knowledge-acquisition” as the sole purpose of education.
Rather stress is laid on “learning by doing”. Physical education is an activity-oriented endeavour the main thrust of which is on “doing and learning”. Activity is a binding buckle between education and physical education.
The classroom academic activity and physical activity on the play-field must compliment and supplement each other for the balanced growth of human personality.
Play-fields,” gymnasia, stadia etc., are the temples and laboratories of physical education where children receive practical training of life.
Not only do they improve their fitness, health and vigour but also learn how to be confident, mentally resolute, tough, cooperative, tolerant and decisive.
Physical education is not simply breathless repetition of physical skills and exercises; it is education of the whole man through wholesome activity programme.