The Socratic Gymnasium: Learning Lessons of Life Through Physical Education

Klara Dianna Gubacs-Collins


What constitutes appropriate practice in physical education? NASPE suggests the outcome of a physical education program should be that adolescents have gained the skills and knowledge to be physically active for a lifetime. Furthermore, a physically educated person consistently demonstrates responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings. The question thus becomes, how do physical education teachers accommodate all of these aspects of appropriate practice into a single unified integrated system that includes equal emphasis on the physical, cognitive, and affective aspects of physical education? My contention is that the answer lies in what I shall refer to as the Socratic gymnasium. The main pillars of the Socratic gymnasium are the combined utilization of a tactical games approach (TGA), sport education (SE), and teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR), all of which are constructivist instructional models.


physical education pedagogy; teacher education pedagogy;

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