Sandra Heck, Martin E. Block. Inclusive Physical Education Around the World

Sandra Heck, Martin E. Block. Inclusive Physical Education Around the World

book coverInclusive Physical Education Around the World is the first book to survey inclusive physical education worldwide, to examine the history of inclusive physical education across different regions, and to compare their policy, practice and educational cultures.

Featuring the work of leading researchers from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America, the book provides a unique interdisciplinary contribution to the fields of physical education, history and pedagogy. It provides readers with information on the origins and historical development of inclusion in schools and teaches them about different ways that inclusive physical education has grown and is implemented in different countries.

This is essential reading for anybody with an interest in physical education, disability sport, adapted physical activity, special educational needs (SEN) teaching or social justice in education. It is a vital resource for postgraduates, researchers and academics who are interested in studies on inclusion and heterogeneity, as well as sport and cultural historians, physical education teachers and students.


Sandra Heck. Von spielenden Soldaten und kämpfenden Athleten: Die Genese des Modernen Fünfkampfs

Sandra Heck. Von spielenden Soldaten und kämpfenden Athleten: Die Genese des Modernen Fünfkampfs. Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2013.

100 Jahre olympisch und dennoch weitgehend unerforscht: der Moderne Fünfkampf
Die nationalistische Stimmung, die in Europa Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts vorherrschte, gab Raum für die Geburt eines Wettkampfs, der sowohl sportlichen als auch militärischen Nutzen versprach: 1912 feierte der Moderne Fünfkampf in Stockholm sein olympisches Debüt und blieb mehr als 100 Jahre olympisch. Die Ursprünge der Sportart, die bis in die zweite Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts zurückreichen, sind aber bislang ununtersucht geblieben. Diese Lücke schließt der Band, der sowohl der militärischen als auch der olympischen Genese des Modernen Fünfkampfs gewidmet ist. Die Basis bilden Archivunterlagen, vor allem jene des Internationalen Olympischen Komitees, der Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, des Schwedischen Organisationskomitees der Olympischen Spiele von 1912 und des Schwedischen Militärsportverbands, die die Autorin umfassend auswertet. Auch analysiert sie diverses Pressematerial aus mehreren Ländern, darunter Schweden, Frankreich, England, Deutschland, Österreich und die USA. (

100 years Olympic and still largely unexplored: the modern pentathlon
The nationalistic ambience that prevailed in Europe in the late 19th Century gave room for the birth of a competition which was useable both for sportive and military purposes. In Stockholm in 1912 the modern pentathlon (fencing, swimming, riding, shooting and running) celebrated its Olympic debut. Although the sport remained thereafter for more than 100 years continuously an Olympic discipline, its origins, which extend to the second half of the 19th Century, yet remained unexplored. The present work which includes both the military and the Olympic genesis of the modern pentathlon shall clear up with this. The evaluation of archival documents, above all those of the International Olympic Committee, the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne, the Swedish Organising Committee of the Olympic Games 1912 and the Swedish Military Sport Federation, has contributed to answering this question, just as the analysis of diverse press material from several countries, including Sweden, France, England, Germany, Austria and the USA. (

Gerald Gems. Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science

Gerald R. Gems. Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

Sports fans have long been fascinated with boxing and the brutal demonstration of physical and psychological conflict. Accounts of the sport appear as far back as the third millennium BC, and Greek and Roman sculptors depicted the athletic ideals of the ancient era in the form of boxers. In the present day, boxers such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Robinson, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. are recognized throughout the world. Boxing films continue to resonate with audiences, from the many Rocky movies to Raging Bull, The Fighter, Million Dollar Baby, and Ali.

In Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science, Gerald R. Gems provides a succinct yet wide ranging treatment of the sport, covering boxing’s ancient roots and its evolution, modernization, and global diffusion. The book not only includes a historical account of boxing, but also explores such issues as social class, race, ethnic rivalries, religious influences, gender issues, and the growth of female boxing. The current debates over the moral and ethical issues relative to the sport are also discussed. While the primary coverage of the political, social, and cultural impacts of boxing focuses on the United States, Gems’ examination encompasses the sport on a global level, as well.

Covering important issues and events in the history of boxing and featuring numerous photographs, Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science will be of interest to boxing fans, historians, scholars, and those wanting to learn more about the sport.


Gerald R. Gems. Sport and the Shaping of Italian American Identity

Gerald R. Gems, Sport and the Shaping of Italian American Identity. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2013.


Gems traces the experience of the Italian immigrant and illustrates the ways in which sports helped Italian Americans adapt to a new culture, assert pride in an ethnic identity, and even achieve social advancement. Employing historical, sociological, and anthropological studies, Gems explores how sports were instrumental in helping notions of identity evolve from the individual to the community, from the racial to the ethnic. In doing so, Sport and the Shaping of Italian American Identity transcends the study of a particular ethnic group to speak to defining values and characteristics of the American ethos.

“Gerald Gems has written a beautiful book. Through painstaking research and an obvious passion for the subject, he traces in much detail and in a highly interesting fashion the participation of Italians in American sport. A must read for anyone desiring to know the complete story of the evolution of sport in this country.”
–David K. Wiggins, author of Glory Bound: Black Athletes in a White America

“Gems brilliantly contextualizes a still evolving ethnic identity. Iconic Italian American sports figures elicit telling commentary, but so do representative men and women. Specialists and general readers will find the volume accessible, interesting, and significant.”
–William Simons, director, Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture


Emily Ryall, Wendy Russell, Malcolm MacLean, The Philosophy of Play

Emily Ryall, Wendy Russell, and Malcolm MacLean, eds. The Philosophy of Play. London: Routledge, 2013.

Play is a vital component of the social life and well-being of both children and adults. This book examines the concept of play and considers a variety of the related philosophical issues. It also includes meta-analyses from a range of philosophers and theorists, as well as an exploration of some key applied ethical considerations.

The main objective of The Philosophy of Play is to provide a richer understanding of the concept and nature of play and its relation to human life and values, and to build disciplinary and paradigmatic bridges between scholars of philosophy and scholars of play. Including specific chapters dedicated to children and play, and exploring the work of key thinkers such as Plato, Sartre, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, Deleuze and Nietzsche, this book is invaluable reading for any advanced student, researcher or practitioner with an interest in education, playwork, leisure studies, applied ethics or the philosophy of sport.

Robin Streppelhoff, Gelungener Brückenschlag. Sport in den deutsch-israelischen Beziehungen

Robin Streppelhoff, Gelungener Brückenschlag. Sport in den deutsch-israelischen Beziehungen, St. Augustin: Academia, 2012.
(A Successful Bridge. Sport in German-Israeli Relationships)

Against the background of the Holocaust, the rapprochement between Germany and Israel has been one of the most astonishing processes of recent times.

While research has largely focused on the bilateral contacts at a political level, no one until now has examined cultural relationships in this context. This study shows the importance of links in sports ­ between individual athletes, coaches or sporting bodies ­ in fostering mutual understanding and rebuilding trust between Germany and Israel ­ well before diplomatic relations were established in 1965.

The author examines the building of bridges through sport between the two nations from the immediate post-war post-Holocaust period until the 1970s, away from the focus of the media and discourses on nationalism. He traces these roots to the re-emergence of Jewish sporting clubs in post-war Germany and how the German Jewish sporting body became part of the Maccabi World Union (MWU). In this context, the MWU’s claim for restitution is reconstructed from the first official letter up until the final ruling of the Berlin court in 1970.

As early as the 1950s, some Israelis ­ mostly of German descent ­ who wanted to become sports coaches came to Germany for a professional education. The emerging friendships built a base for institutional contacts between the sport governing bodies once the political barriers had fallen in 1969, when Israel officially allowed cultural contacts with Germany. Most personal contacts were made through the sport youth exchange, which also started before formal political links at ambassadorial level had been established. The political quality of the sporting contacts is thoroughly explored using reports showing that German ambassadors were very much in favour of these cultural relationships.

This research is based on files from political archives such as the Israeli State Archive, Germany’s political archive of the Foreign Ministry as well as the archive of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the archive of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Moreover, documents from sport archives are presented for the first time. The most important among these are the Zvi-Nishri archive (Wingate Institute), the archive of the Maccabi World Union (Ramat Gan), the Willi Daume archive and the archive of the German Olympic Sport Confederation.

Annette R. Hofmann, ed., 200 Jahre Turnen – 200 Jahre Soziale Jahre Soziale Verantwortung

Annette R. Hofmann, ed., 200 Jahre Turnen – 200 Jahre Soziale Jahre Soziale Verantwortung. 2011.

This work is a collection of essays that reflect the 200 year history of German turnen since the founding of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn´s first Turnplatz (gymnastic ground) in 1811 on the Berlin Hasenheide until today. The turner clubs – Turnvereine – are the base of Germany´s sport system which is largely based on a system of volunteers. The umbrella organization of German turnen, the Deutsche Turner-Bund – is the second biggest sports federation in Germany. About 5 million members are organized there, about 70 percent are girls and women. Besides artistic gymnastics, the main offers today are gymnastics and gambling for children and activities related to health.

Annette R. Hofmann, The American Turner Movement: A History from its Beginning to 2000

Annette R. Hofmann, The American Turner Movement: A History from its Beginning to 2000. Indianapolis: Max Kade, 2010.

This work deals with the development of German Turnverein movement in the US. It takes up its growth in the 19th century and its gradual decline which essentially began after World War I and continues to this day. Turnen, the German form of physical culture which played a significant role in the Turner societies has lost much of its significance in the 20th century. Turnen was absorbed by other forms of physical activities and the Turners became Americanized. The most important factors for this evolution are cultural, social, and economic influences.

To show this transformation the assimilation of German immigrants is reflected on since the 18th century. Theories of integration which explain and interpret this process, however, do not include physical education. For this reason, an attempt has been made with this work to portray the changes in the Turner activities and its current image by means of various social theories concerning ethnicity and Americanization. One of the major works used is Richard D. Alba’s Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America (1990). In addition, an empirical study has been used to describe what remains of the Turner activities.

Kai Reinhart, “Wir wollten einfach unser Ding machen”. DDR-Sportler zwischen Fremdbestimmung und Selbstverwirklichung

Kai Reinhart. “Wir wollten einfach unser Ding machen”. DDR-Sportler zwischen Fremdbestimmung und Selbstverwirklichung. Frankfurt: Campus, 2010.

[“We wanted to just do our thing.” GDR athletes between heteronomy and self-fulfillment]


“Ready for work and for defence” was the motto of East Germany’s socialist sport system. In his study on sport in the GDR, Kai Reinhart demonstrates how sport could be used as a powerful instrument to discipline and regulate the people, using the theories of the French Philosopher Michel Foucault. In addition to examining the official East German state sport system, Reinhart also studies the informal sports of rock climbing and skateboarding. In these scenes the dream of freedom and individuality was pursued with craftiness, creativity, persistency and courage. These sports became an agent of self-fulfillment. Many of the interviewed athletes said, “We just wanted to do our own thing” – an attitude that made them pioneers of the “Wende” in 1989.



In der DDR lautete das Motto des Sports »Bereit zur Arbeit und zur Verteidigung der Heimat«. Kai Reinhart zeigt in seiner Studie, wie der Sport im Sozialismus zu einem machtvollen Instrument der Disziplinierung und der Regulierung im Sinne Michel Foucaults gemacht werden sollte. Über den staatlichen Sport hinaus erforscht Reinhart am Beispiel des Bergsteigens und des Skateboardens aber vor allem informelle Sportszenen in der DDR. In diesen wurde mit Schlitzohrigkeit, Kreativität, Hartnäckigkeit und Mut der Traum von Freiheit und Individualität verfolgt. Der Sport wurde zu einem Mittel der Selbstverwirklichung. »Wir wollten einfach unser Ding machen«, sagten viele der interviewten Sportler – eine Haltung, die sie zu Pionieren der Wende machte.

Gertrud Pfister, ed., Gymnastics, a Transatlantic Movement: From Europe to America

Gertrud Pfister, ed. Gymnastics, a Transatlantic Movement: From Europe to America. London: Routledge, 2010.

This book explores, analyses, and explains divergent ideologies and practices of gymnastics in selected European nations. It reconstructs the ex- and import processes from Europe to America and determines the processes, interrelationships and transformations of these “transatlantic movements” in their new home country. The book offers a more complete understanding of the role of gymnastics and expressive movements in cultural and ideological transmission over time and identifies the impact of these concepts on American physical education, sports systems and sports cultures.

The main focus of the book lies in the two decades before and after World War I. This concentration on a specific historical epoch allows us to identify parallel, but also different developments of the various forms of gymnastics and of the transfer and implementation processes.

The volume covers the transfer and impact of German Turnen, Czech Sokol and the Delsarte system in North America. In addition, it traces the influences of French gymnastics in South America and describes the tours of the world-renowned Danish gymnastic reformer Nils Bukh in both Americas. A focus will be the “import” of gymnastics, but also on the adaption processes of these different concepts and their integration into the American culture.

This book was previously published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

Table of Contents
1. Prologue: Gymnastics – Divergent European Principles and Practices and American Transformative Reactions and Responses Gertrud Pfister

2. The Role of German Turners in American Physical Education Gertrud Pfister

3. The German Turners and the Taming of Radicalism in Chicago Gerald Gems

4. From Jahn to Lincoln: Transformation of Turner Symbols in a New Cultural Setting Annette Hofmann

5. Our Brothers Across the Ocean: The Czech Sokol in America to 1914 Claire E. Nolte

6. French Gymnastics in Brazil: Dissemination, Diffusion and Relocalization Thierry Terret and Leomar Tesche

7. Globalization Before Globalization: Niels Bukh and the American Connection Hans Bonde

8. American Delsartism: Precursor of an American Dance Art Nancy Lee Chalfa Ruyter

9. Transatlantic Traffic in Expressive Movement: From Delsarte and Dalcroze to Margaret H’Doubler and Rudolf Laban Patricia Vertinsky

10. Body Regimes: Swedish Gymnastics in the United States Jan Lindroth

11. Epilogue: Gymnastics from Europe to America Gertrud Pfister

Author Biography
Gertrud Pfister is professor at the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen. She serves as a member of the scientific boards in the European College of Sport Sciences (ECSS), WSI (Women’s Sport International) and International Association of Physical Education and Sport of Girls and Women (IAPESGW). She is also a member of the editorial boards of fifteen scientific journals and she served in several committees which evaluated sport faculties. She has won four awards for her scholarly work, among others, the Award of the International Society for Sport History and the Howell and Howell Distinguished Lecturer Award of NASSH. She has published more than 20 books and more than 200 scholarly articles. She is co-author of Understanding American Sport (2009). She is active in various sports and has served in sport clubs and federations.