The Cinderella Story: Physical Education at Australian Universities

By Steve Georgakis.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Historians and sociologists of Australian sport have documented the important role played by sport in Australian universities. Sport not only loomed large in the lives of students, but universities such as Melbourne and Sydney played a significant role in the growth of sport in Australia. Physical education, closely aligned with sport was a latecomer to the Australian university settlement. In fact the first Australian physical education teacher training course at Melbourne University was established in 1937; more than 80 years after the establishment of Australia’s first university. While the history of Australian university sport is well-documented, very few scholars have dealt with the history of Australian university physical education. This paper begins to address some of this neglect by tracing the establishment and consolidation of physical education teacher training at Australian universities. The paper argues that because the Australian university system modelled itself on the British system, where physical education had limited influence as it was not deemed worthy of university scholarship, physical education struggled for acceptance in the Australia university settlement until the higher education reforms of the late 1980s.

Keywords: Physical Education, History, University

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.149-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 593.367KB).

Dr. Steve Georgakis

Human Movement and Health Education, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Steve Georgakis has published widely in the field of history and physical education pedagogy.