Physical Education & Teachers Training in Austria
Physical exercise and sport have been significant components of the Austrian school curriculum for many years.
With the development of „natural gymnastics“ in the 1920's and 1930's by Margarete Streicher who had a definitive influence on the university training of „Gym Teachers“ and by Karl Gaulhofer at the ministry, physical education has achieved in schools the important status which it still maintains.
Today physical education must accept the challenge that children's life styles are becoming less physically active. Balanced physical development, variety of motor experience, health promotion and sporting ability are, therefore, central concerns of the subject. Modern physical education is based upon bringing within reach of school boys and girls the full range of physical exercise, from simple activities to the complex world of sport.
Health is important: physical education is not just an important contribution to the promotion of health generally, but the subject lends itself very well to contributing to the development of health promoting organisations in individual schools. Adequate resources, which are extensively given in Austria, are necessary. Further, schools must look beyond the world of education for partnerships with other organisations to realise the goal of daily exercise - particularly for children and young people between the ages of 6 and 14.
The booklet „Physical Education and Sport in Austrian Schools“ should provide information on the various bases of physical education and on the variety of opportunities in schools. The gamut extends from compulsory subjects through events where participation is optional to sports weeks with their special educational opportunities.