II-220123.1 | Students, Selwyn House School, Montreal, QC, 1917

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Students, Selwyn House School, Montreal, QC, 1917
Wm. Notman & Son
1917, 20th century
Silver salts on paper - Gelatin silver process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  child (1308) , informal (1120) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

A new concept of play

Green spaces were thought to be important for providing not only access to nature, but also space for physical activities and exercise. By the late 19th century, it was believed that participating in appropriate physical activities and sports helped human beings to be more fully developed and responsible. This belief gradually gained acceptance, and by the start of the 20th century sport and exercise were widely viewed by the reformers as essential to both physical and moral health. One result was the introduction in elementary schools of physical education as a means to improve children's personal and moral hygiene.

  • What

    Physical education courses, which began appearing in Canadian schools after 1870, required students to engage in physical conditioning based on methods developed by the military.

  • Where

    Beginning in the late 1900s, schools were equipped with large rooms for physical education and extracurricular activities.

  • When

    By the end of the 1930s, physical education courses were mandatory in Canadian elementary and high schools.

  • Who

    Only schools catering to the children of the wealthy were equipped with adequate equipment for their sports and physical education programs.