Physical Education Instructors, Training of
Physical Education Instructors, Training of
a system of training teachers of physical education and coaches of various sports for all types of educational institutions and physical-culture and sports organizations; a branch of pedagogical education. Special training in physical education was first given in the first half of the 19th century, when a number of Western European countries, including Denmark, Sweden, France, and Germany, opened educational institutions for training teachers of gymnastics; the subject was taught as a system of physical exercises and methodological techniques for promoting health and overall physical fitness.
In Russia, training in physical education was first provided in the mid-19th century by military schools, such as the Infantry Officers’ School, and by fencing and gymnastic courses in St. Petersburg. In 1896, P. F. Lesgaft organized special courses in St. Petersburg for female teachers and physical-culture directors. These courses were the prototype of modern institutes of higher learning for training physical-education instructors. The Main Officers’ Fencing and Gymnastics School, opened in St. Petersburg in 1909, served as a model for schools in military districts. Gymnastics and sports instructors were also trained in sports societies, leagues, and clubs.
Training in physical education took shape as an independent branch of specialized higher and secondary education in the first quarter of the 20th century.
In the USSR, specialized schools for training teachers of physical education and sports were founded during the first years of Soviet power—in 1918 in Moscow and in 1919 in Petrograd. The Soviet system of training teachers of physical education was developed by N. A. Semashko, N. I. Podvoiskii, and such scholars and pedagogues as V. V. Gorinevskii, M. F. Ivanitskii, A. N. Krestovnikov, I. M. Sarkizov-Serazini, A. D. Novikov, and P. A. Rudik.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s physical-culture institutes and technicums and schools for training coaches were opened in Baku, Kharkov, Minsk, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Kaunas, Riga, and other cities. A number of pedagogical institutes and universities organized programs of training in physical education, and pedagogical schools opened special divisions. Physical-culture institutes created pedagogical and sports departments and specialized subdepartments in various sports. A four-year course of study was established for higher studies in physical education, and a three-year course for secondary studies was introduced.
In 1977, the USSR had 22 institutes of physical culture, 89 departments of physical education in pedagogical institutes and universities, 26 physical-culture technicums, and 74 divisions of physical education in pedagogical schools. There were more than 114,000 students, including 42,000 in institutes and approximately 17,000 in physical-culture technicums. Each year approximately 30,000 specialists graduated with degrees in physical education on the higher and secondary levels.
The curriculum of higher educational institutions and technicums includes the general sciences (in technicums, general studies), sociopolitical courses, and medicine and biology, as well as sports instruction and specialized courses. Theoretical study is organically combined with practice in the student’s major field of study, including teaching, coaching, and organizing practice, and with advanced training in sports. Students must meet established sports classification standards; for example, in a sports department they must be placed in the first classification in their specialty and in at least two third classifications in other sports.
Teachers of the scientific aspects of physical culture and sports are trained in graduate programs at leading institutes of physical culture, in a number of pedagogical institutes and universities, in the All-Union and Leningrad scientific research institutes of physical culture, and in the Scientific Research Institute for the Physiology of Children and Adolescents of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the USSR. The institutes of physical culture in Moscow and Leningrad, the Kiev Institute, and the Kazakh Institute in Alma-Ata have departments of advanced studies for specialists.
In 1977 the system of training in physical education employed more than 16,000 teachers and research workers, of which approximately 1,500 had academic titles and degrees, including 120 doctors of sciences. Notable teachers include such scholars and athletes as A. N. Vorob’ev, K. V. Gradopolov, V. M. Zatsiorskii, N. V. Zimkin, M. P. Krivonosov, V. L. Karpman, A. Z. Katulin, L. P. Matveev, N. G. Ozolin, N. I. Ponomarev, V. V. Petrovskii, A. Ts. Puni, B. M. Rybalko, V. I. Chukarin, L. G. Chkhaidze, and B. A. Shakhlin.
Volunteer physical-culture instructors and sports officials take courses in applied physical education and receive teaching and coaching practice. Students in sports schools receive elementary training in physical culture, and students in general-education schools and all types of specialized educational institutions learn the basic principles of physical culture and sports in compulsory physical-culture classes.
In other socialist countries, specialists in physical education are trained in major fields of study and other courses similar to those offered in the Soviet system. The largest centers of physical education are the higher schools of physical culture in Leipzig and Havana, the Warsaw Academy of Physical Education, the Bucharest, Hungarian, Sofia, and Ulan Bator institutes of physical culture, and the departments of physical education at the universities of Belgrade, Ljubljana, Zagreb, and Sarajevo.
In the majority of capitalist countries there is no state system of public physical education, and training in physical education stresses sports; for example, instructors and coaches are usually trained in one particular sport. Specialists in physical education are usually trained in departments of physical education within universities; the USA, for example, has more than 1,300 such departments.
Well-known centers of physical education in the capitalist countries are the Higher School of Physical Culture in Cologne and the departments of physical education in the universities of Bonn, Frankfurt, Munich, and Marburg (Federal Republic of Germany); the departments of physical education at Harvard University, the University of California, and the University of Michigan (USA); the National Institute of Sports in Paris and the institutes of physical education in Joinville and Châtenay-Malabry (France); and the Stockholm Physical Education Institute (Sweden).
A. A. DUBOV