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Naturalism is a philosophical term referring to natural laws of nature that influence and oversee the structure and behavior of the Universe. In the 17th century, a naturalist by the name Jean-Jacques Rousseau came up with ideologies that education was the acquisition of fullest natural growth of a person, leading to balanced, harmonious, useful and natural life. These ideologies inspired other scholars like Johann Bernhard, a German educator who later reformed German education system basing on Rousseau’s ideals. He believed that the education curriculum should contain teaching methods that involve observation of the real world, self direction, games and physical training for the youth, such as hiking and manual work, which he actualized as a teacher in Philanthropinum experimental school in 1776.

Johann GutsMuths, a naturalist and educator at the Schnepfenthal Institution, set aside three hours daily in the following physical education programs: Greek gymnastics, military exercises, knightly activities, and manual labor. His program encouraged Friedrich Jahn, an educator and a patriot who believed that physical education was the cornerstone of national health and strength in the 1800s. Their combined ideologies have helped in shaping today’s education as they have defined education curriculum, people’s morals, expressions, distinct freedom and behavior, for a better world.

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