Exercise in French Physical Education Teaching Since 1945. A Civilising Intellectualisation as the Consequence of Sport and School Standardisation

  •  Jean-Nicolas RENAUD    
  •  Christian Vivier    
  •  Sébastien LAFFAGE-COSNIER    


In France, since the Second World War, physical and sports education (PSE) methods have seen considerable renewal. However; the word “exercise” has remained in the professional vocabulary. This permanence inevitably raises questions about the conditions under which the term is used. The mutations undergone by this basic unit of the student's physical activity reflect the profound changes that have occurred in the discipline. Desiring to give greater coherence to their teaching and thus work towards greater school legitimacy, French PSE teachers have progressively developed a more and more complex argument. This argument has permitted them to rationally link the body movements that have to be performed with the aims that can thus be achieved, in a dynamic which bears the imprint of the “civilising process”. This study is a historical analysis of a particular element in the teacher-student relationship: exercise. Hexagonal physical education, through its incorporation of norms, makes it possible to fully understand the educational concepts of the moment and their evolution throughout the second half of the 20th century. Although often neglected in university research, the notion of exercise nonetheless represents a remarkable indicator of a society’s educational approach.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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