The Body as an Educational Object

Talia Tadmor-Shimony, Nirit Raichel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the adoption of various European conceptions regarding the body, including the medicalization approach and the process of adaptation to the local conditions of Ottoman Palestine. The modern Jewish and Hebrew-national schools were part of the transnational hygiene movement. The educational networks and educational actors adopted the hierarchal pattern of medicalization, whereby schools relied on physicians’ requirements regarding improvements needed in the school’s environment. Given the lack of a public health policy in Ottoman Palestine, some schools provided otherwise-unavailable preventive medical services and healthcare to the children. This pattern is similar to the phenomenon of colonial schools as the only entity providing health services. In many schools, the issue of health essentially became an institutional concern. In this context, we should note the importance of cooperation with the Hebrew-national doctors. Alongside the medicalization approach, there was the revolutionary vision of creating a new, modern Hebrew-speaking society. One of the pillars of the vision was the modeling of healthy, physically strong Jews, who were to be the antithesis of the Eastern European Jew. Another pillar was physical education. Physical education was intended for boys and girls; alongside formal education, there was an informal physical education that manifested in ceremonies and gymnastics performances.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Histories of Education
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameGlobal Histories of Education
VolumePart F1175
ISSN (Print)2731-6408
ISSN (Electronic)2731-6416

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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