Physical Education in ENglish and Italian humanistic pedagogy of the XV and XVI centuries

Eduardo Álvarez del Palacio

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Cite this article

Àlvarez del Palacio, E. (1999). Physical Education in ENglish and Italian humanistic pedagogy of the XV and XVI centuries. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 58, 14-24.



One of the constant traits of Renaissance humanism is the interest in the recovery of the principals of knowledge established by Greco-Roman classicism. Humanistic pedagogues adopted these as their basic guide line in their teaching manuals striving desperately to develop a whole and harmonic personality in their students. Therefore, as we will see the most common and homogeneous trait of Renaissance Pedagogy is the critique of scholastic teaching. The Renaissance teacher disowns medieval manuals as well as their methods and believes that education should be achieved through the absorption of the spirit of the great works of classic Greco-Roman authors. For. Renaissance Pedagogues the aim of the ideal human aims was to achieve the principals established in Platonic paideia and Ciceronian humanitas. Plato and Cicero were with Aristotle the great Renaissance idols. Following these classical authors the most standing humanistic teachers gave also a control role to physical body exercise in the achievement of that all-embracing educational aim, considering that the full development of physical abilities allows men to adapt better to their environment, facing successfully the demands of daily life and achieving the civic, intellectual and moral level that the polls demand of its citizens.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Published: October 01, 1999