Historical Background

Established in 1946 as the Physical Education Division of the Province of Taiwan Teachers College, the department marked as the first specialized institution to cultivate physical education teachers and recruited graduate students from five-year middle schools. It was reorganized into the Department of Physical Education in 1948 and expanded its scope to include the cultivation of both physical education and hygiene education experts by founding the Department of Physical Education and Health Education in 1954. The department was divided into the physical education group and the health education group. In 1955, when the college restructured as the Province of Taiwan Normal University, the Department of Physical Education and Health Education was subordinate to the College of Education. In the same year, the department launched an additional three-year Physical Education program to meet the increasing demand of physical education professionals until 1958. With the trend of professionalization in every field, the department reverted its name back to its previous title — the Department of Physical Education in 1959, and it has been admitting student athletes on athletic recommendations since 1965, for their future trainings and academic performances. Moreover, the department had offered an evening program from 1968 to 1972 to encourage advanced studies.

With an aim to promote academic research in Physical Education, in 1970, the department founded the first graduate program of Physical Education in Taiwan. Afterwards, in accordance with education policies, it had offered a 40-credit curriculum taking place during summer vacations since 1983 and a 40-credit curriculum on weekends in 1993 for in-service training of middle school teachers, and both ended in 1998. Besides the aforementioned, the Advanced Summer Studies Program for a Bachelor’s Degree had been offered from 1987 to 1993 so as to fulfill vocational school students’ needs for further studies.

Based on the wide array of adaptable teachers and sufficient professional positions, the department became a pioneer by establishing the first Ph.D program in Taiwan for the cultivation of physical education experts.

As the construction of the Gymnasium was completed in 1993, the department office as well as the classrooms for undergraduate and graduate students were moved back to the Main Campus, and the Administration Center of the Graduate Institute and laboratories of each discipline stayed in the Gongguan Campus. Following the national policies of recurrent education, the department has started the Summer Graduate Program in Physical Education Pedagogy and the Weekend Graduate Program in Sports Administration since 1998, along with the Summer Graduate Program in Adapted Physical Education Pedagogy and the Weekend Graduate Program in Sports Science since 1999, for middle school teachers to receive in-service training.

In August, 1990, the College of Sports and Recreation was established, with the Graduate Institute of Sports and Recreation Industry Management, the Department of Physical Education, and the new-founded Department of Athletic Performance as its subordinate organizations, meaning that the department no longer belonged to the College of Education from then on. In the future, the department will continue to hold the educational philosophy of cultivating outstanding teachers and specialists in management and academic research, providing students quality software and hardware facilities to reach the educational goal of developing and making full use of students’ abilities.
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