Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Galen N Drewry
John W. Gilliland, George F. Brady, Earl M. Ramer, Orin B. Graff
During World War II inadequacies in physical education programs in the United States were clearly revealed. A study of the physical fitness of men in the Army Air Force disclosed that almost one-half of the inductees were in poor or very poor condition. The Army and Navy testing programs also revealed that a large percentage of inductees was in poor physical condition. These test results did not include the numerous persons who were rejected from military service for various reasons.
Most of the men displayed poor performance in basic motor skills such as jumping, falling and lifting. It was also discovered that nearly one-half of the men did not possess a sufficient degree of skill in any sport to desire participation in that activity.
These tests indicated that physical education programs in the country had not fulfilled such objectives as physical development or physical fitness and the development of recreational skills such as golf, tennis, swimming and badminton.
Although much was done following World War II to improve this situation, physical education practice still continued to lag far behind current knowledge and philosophy.
Recently it has been pointed out that Americans are becoming physically soft because of a high degree of mechanization in industry and everyday life with a resulting lack of adequate physical exertion to maintain body fitness. It has also been emphasized that if too many persons become soft and weak, the the nation itself may eventually acquire these same characteristics.
It is the responsibility of physical educators to do their utmost to prevent the degeneration of physical fitness in American youth and adults. Improved programs of physical education should aid in increasing the strength and health of individuals and ultimately the strength of the nation.
One method of improving physical education is through continuous evaluations of present physical education programs on all levels, elementary through college, in order to discover and as nearly as possible to eliminate deficiencies. Along with evaluations of individual programs, a comparison with other programs may prove helpful in discovering deficiencies with need to be corrected.
Puckett, John Ralph, "An Evaluation of Certain Areas of Physical Education Service Programs of Selected White and Negro Colleges in Tennessee. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 1959.