The Rise of Modern Sport and Physical Education

Science & Technology
Sport Science
Course Code
SPSC 2381
Semester Length
15 weeks (or 8 weeks summer condensed)
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Field Experience
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course examines factors affecting the development of sport and physical education in modern times. Consideration is given to the relationship between sport and physical education development and selected societal features (leisure, education, race, gender, and politics). Particular attention is paid to the rise of sport and physical education in Canada, Europe and the United States.
Course Content
  1. Understanding sport and physical activity historical studies
  • Descriptive and interpretive historical research using primary and secondary sources.
  • Historical research concepts of change, development and progress.
  • Comparative studies in historical research.
  • Roles and appreciation of sport and physical education history.
  • The rise of physical education and sport in Medieval and early Europe
    • Medieval society and physical education (fifth to twelfth century.)
    • Medieval sport.
    • Physical education and sport in the Renaissance and Reformation (thirteenth to sixteenth century.)
    • Seventeenth century European physical education and sport.
    • Eighteenth century European physical education and sport.
    • Nineteenth century European physical education and sport.
  • The rise of physical education and sport in Modern Europe
    • Characteristics of modern sport:
      • Secularism
      • Equality
      • Specialization
      • Rationalization
      • Bureaucracy
      • Quantification
    • The birth of modern sport in Europe.
    • The birth of physical education.
    • Social conditions affecting the rise of modern sport and physical education (e.g. social class, religious influences.)
  • The rise of physical education and sport in North America
    • The rise of organized sport in 1850-1906.
    • The changes to physical education at the turn of the century.
    • The meeting of sport and physical education in the twentieth century.
    • The entry of sport into the school program (1900-1930).
    • The development of physical education in Canada:
      • American, British and European influences
      • Strathcona Trust
      • Pioneer leaders
      • Post-secondary programs
      • Bill C-131
    • Historical issues in sport and physical education:
      • Sport for girls and women
      • Mandatory physical education
      • Sport governance and financing
      • Selected topics
  • International Sport
    • International sport in the nineteenth century.
    • Rise of the modern Olympic Games.
    • Politics and power in international sport.
    Learning Activities

    A combination of lectures, group discussions, student presentations, guest speakers, online modules, online discussions, and a variety of audio-visual aids will be used, including films, slides and charts.

    Means of Assessment

    Assessment in this course will be consistent with Douglas College evaluation and assessment policy. The following is presented as a guideline and sample assessment strategy. Alternative forms of assessment, such as comparative studies, web-based guides, or online assessments may be used.

    Mid-term exam 10-30%
    Final exam 10-40%
    Student presentation 15-30%
    Term paper 15-30%
    Learning Outcomes

    On completion of this course, the student will:

    1. Be able to situate physical education and sport history studies within:
    • the fields of sport science and physical education, and
    • the broader field of historical studies
  • Describe selected aspects of physical education and sport in Medieval and early Europe.
  • Describe selected aspects of the rise of physical education and sport in Modern Europe.
  • Describe selected aspects of the rise of physical education and modern sport in North America.
  • Relate the rise of the modern Olympics and the rise of international sport.
  • Textbook Materials

    Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students

    Textbooks and other course resources will be selected by the instructor. The following is presented as a sample text.

    Mechikoff, R. (2009). A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education. McGraw-Hill Higher Education

    Handouts: Additional handouts will be made available to the students throughout the semester via online modules, in class, or on reserve in the library.



    No prerequisite courses.


    No corequisite courses.


    No equivalent courses.

    Course Guidelines

    Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

    Course Transfers

    These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

    Institution Transfer Details for SPSC 2381
    Langara College (LANG) LANG KINS 2XXX (3)
    Simon Fraser University (SFU) No credit
    Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HKIN 2XX (3)
    University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HMKN 2nd (3)
    University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV KIN 2nd (3)
    University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV KIN 161 (3)

    Course Offerings

    Summer 2023