Presentation on theme: "SPORT AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE C19th. Tom Brown’s Schooldays- Public School Physical Education was not the key factor behind the development of sport."— Presentation transcript:
Tom Brown’s Schooldays- Public School Physical Education was not the key factor behind the development of sport in Britain’s public schools. It was used by headmasters to gain and maintain social order within their communities. The insistence of boys on their “right to play” had caused serious breakdowns of control, to such an extent that in some instances the military or militia had to be called in to put down such disturbances.
Their “right to play” included their wish to carry on their recreational activities but it could also mean “to do just as they liked” including frequenting the local ale houses where their presence nor their behaviour were always welcome.
HARSH ENVIRONMENT The masters had little interest-and much distaste- for the rowdy and raucous recreational preferences of their charges. They also had little to do with the boys outside lesson times. Such places were spartan, harsh environments.They were remote in the sense that most boys were boarders and the schools were often criticised for their teaching of classical curriculum in an increasingly technical world. Beatings were common by both masters and prefects.
The system of “fagging” whereby junior boys were at the “beck and call” of prefects and were expected to perform all kinds of chores, was accepted by most boys on the basis that as they moved up the school “it would be their turn”.
CHANNELLING EXCESS ENERGIES Thomas Arnold, the legendary headmaster of Rugby school, was instrumental in the transformation of such places.
He developed a purposeful use for recreations and established a means by which boys could channel their excess energies.
Much emphasis was placed on team games. This could be useful as an agent of social control. At the same time it developed other desirable character-building qualities in boys.
CHRISTIAN VIRTUES The notion of ATHLETICISM, where Christian virtues are promoted through “ physical ” emerged from the growing popularity of games and sports. It was used as a way of bringing what were known as MUSCULAR CHRISTIAN values into the lives of Britain ’ s public schoolboys. This new form of manly and acceptable exercise, taught loyalty, integrity, obediance, magnanimity in victory, dignity in defeat and above all fair play. These values were all part of the code by which boys were controlled and by which, they in turn, would eventually control others.
The idea of Christian virtue had been a central plank of rationalised thinking for some time. To this was added the concept of manly virtue, or manliness. The idea that there could be a physical aspect to Christian living was soon taken up in all the public schools, and by the boys themselves out into the wider world. Finally the quality of Leadership was tested on the “playing field” in preparation for the role of many public schoolboys in later life.