The Beginnings of Physical Education in Spain (1881-1905)

Juan Félix Rodríguez Pérez

*Corresponding author: Juan Félix Rodríguez Pérez

Original Language

Cite this article

Rodríguez Pérez, J. F. (2017). The Beginnings of Physical Education in Spain (1881-1905). Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 127, 27-34.



The study presented is the result of historical research whose objective is to recover the beginnings of physical education from the perspective of the periodical publication Bulletin of the Society for the Protection of Children. During the last quarter of the 19th century, the magazine received and publicized innovative educational activities that were being tried outside our country. It passionately advocated the foundation and implementation of the Central School of Gymnastics. The articles it published promote hygiene, gymnastics and physical education in schools. Criticism of setting up the ‘children’s battalions’ was fierce to the point of creating a feeling of rejection by a part of society in line with the new modern educational theories. Articles written by Pedro de Alcántara Garcia recommended reducing intellectualism in schools in favor of games and physical activity. Physical exercise sought health in mind and body. The Bulletin also found space for not very accurate criticism of the practice of certain sports by children and adolescents.

Keywords: Children, Health, History, hygiene, Physical Education.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: December 30, 2015

Accepted: April 12, 2016

Published: January 01, 2017