Interpreting the Evidence
Boys' Gymnasium, New York City Public School #147, c. 1900
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Boys’ gymnasium in New York City Public School No. 147, circa 1900.
At the turn of the century, physical education was viewed as an important part of school, especially in urban settings (such as New York City) with large immigrant populations. Children participated in team sports and coordinated gymnastic movements to build a sense of teamwork, fair play, discipline, and healthy competition. It was believed that participation in physical education and art classes would provide immigrant children from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to build a sense of unity.
How does culture influence a society's education system?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and identify key characteristics of the American education system during this time period.