Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline

Physical Education


The old adage, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy has long since become an accepted and confirmed statement among people of the world.

Although at all periods of history there have been persons who ap~reciated the true value of recreation, popular opinion has frequently been lacking in sympathy toward those who employ leisure for other than strictly utilitarian purposes. This has been true of our O\ffl country as well as of others. It has not always been considered respectable for American youth to have spare time or to use it as they please. The Methodist Discipline of 1792, outlining the policy of Cokesbury College toward leisure, says:

We prohibit play in the strongest terms ••• The student shall rise at five o'clock ••• summer and winter ••• Their recreation shall be gardening, walking, riding, and bathing without doors, and the carpenter's joiner's and cabinet-maker's bench within doors ••• A person skilled in gardening shall be appointed to overlook the students ••••••• in this recreation ••••• A master shall always.ys be present at the time of bathing. Only one shall bathe at a time and no one shall remain in the water above a minute. No student shall be allowed to bathe in the river ••• The students shall be indulged in nothing that the world calls play. Let this rule be observed with the strictest nicety; for most who play 'When they are young will play when they are old.

If the elders who imposed these Spartan regulations could survey the present-day scene, they would be astonished at the extent to which play is tolerated and actually encouraged. They would find the idea generally accepted that it is normal for people to wish to relax from their usual labors and to pursue various activities for which their ordinary occupations offer no scope. They would discover, no doubt with dismay, that the cultivation or leisure interests is not only looked upon as harmless but is considered to have definite values 1 to the individual and to society.

In 1906 a group of men and women met at Washington and established the Playground and Recreation Association of America. The aim of the organization has been to induce both municipal and rural communities to establish well-directed playgrounds and recreation centers. It was also during this period the city governments came to recognize that their obligations to young Americans included the providing of facilities for play.

Committee Chair/Advisor

W. J. Nicks

Committee Member

Elizabeth Bradley


Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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