Physical education is the study, practice, and appreciation of the art and science of human movement" (Harrison, Blakemore, and Buck, p. 15). While movement is both innate and essential to an individual's growth and development, it is the role of physical education to provide instructional activities that not only promote skill development and proficiency, but also enhance an individual's overall health. Physical education not only fulfills a unique role in education, but is also an integral part of the schooling process
The evolution of physical education, along with other educational professions, reflected contemporary changes in society. Throughout the early twentieth century, into the 1950s, there was a steady growth of physical education in the public schools. During the early 1920s many states passed legislation requiring physical education. However, shifts in curricular emphasis were evident when wars occurred and when the results of national reports were published.