Chapter 1: 21st Century Physical Education in the United States: Introduction to the Special Issue

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 The Ohio State University
  • | 2 University at Albany, SUNY
  • | 3 Arizona State University
  • | 4 University of South Carolina
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In this chapter, we examine the system of physical education with a Janus-like perspective. We focus on examining and learning from the past as we anticipate what society, school systems, and the physical education system might look like in the future. Drawing on futuristic scenarios developed for this special journal issue, we ask a timely, pivotal question. What does all of this mean for the future of the field of physical education, including its school programs, teacher education programs, doctoral programs, and salient public policies? The several chapters in this special issue can be viewed as a response to this question—and with a delimited focus on the unique context of the United States. This chapter is structured to provide an overall context for these other contributions. It includes a discussion of relevant theories provided in this special issue and a representative summary of the other articles. Selectivity is apparent and unavoidable in every article, and it can be viewed variously as a strength or limitation.

Ward is with The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA. Lawson is with the University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY, USA. van der Mars is with Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ, USA. Mitchell is with the Graduate School, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA.

Ward (Ward.116@osu.edu) is corresponding author.
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