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Active BodiesA History of Women’s Physical Education in Twentieth-Century America$
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Martha H. Verbrugge

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168792.001.0001

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“Who is that woman?”

“Who is that woman?”

Female Physical Educators, 1890s–1940s

Chapter:
(p.14) 1 “Who is that woman?”
Source:
Active Bodies
Author(s):

Martha H. Verbrugge

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168792.003.0001

Chapter 1 opens with a brief history of physical education as a profession in the United States from the 1890s through 1940s. It then focuses on white and black women who became gym teachers during these decades: their upbringing, interests, training, employment, work-related challenges (such as inadequate resources, facilities, and administrative authority), professional activities, and personal lives. As second-class members of a new, seemingly non-academic field, early female physical educators emphasized notions of gender to accommodate as well as resist the disadvantages they faced at educational institutions. The chapter includes biographical sketches of prominent and lesser-known women; data on the careers and marital status of physical education graduates of several Midwestern universities; and detailed descriptions of the hiring process at Hampton Institute and Spelman College.

Keywords:   history of physical education, women gym teachers, teacher training, marital status, Hampton Institute, Spelman College

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