This essay addresses four main questions. The first is devoted to how I became interested in the philosophy of sport. The second question concerns how my academic career has evolved over time in line with various developments in the field that privileged certain lines of study over others and which largely marginalized philosophy in particular and the humanities in general. The third question centers on what I take to be my own main contributions to the philosophy of sport and what, if any, impact they may have had on the larger field of kinesiology. Finally, I offer my own brief prognosis of what I think the future has in store for the relationship between sport philosophy and kinesiology.
Philosophy and Kinesiology: A Tenuous Past and an Uncertain Future
William J. Morgan
Boundary Crossing and Bridge Building
Hal A. Lawson
Twentieth-Century Physical Education gave rise to Kinesiology. Today’s Kinesiology structures and influences Physical Education. Boundary crossing and bridge building facilitate analysis of their relations and have import for investigations of career pathways and outcomes. Decisions regarding boundaries and bridges will impact the futures of Kinesiology, Physical Education, and their relations in diverse, turbulent higher education environments.
An Excellent Adventure on Some Roads Less Traveled
David I. Anderson
I am not sure by what fortunate circumstance I was invited to contribute to this special issue of Kinesiology Review. However, I am deeply honored to be part of an issue with such esteemed scholars and colleagues. Like many, my introduction to the field of kinesiology was through sports, but my inspiration to pursue kinesiology as a career was the result of an injury that ended my sporting ambitions. My career is characterized by little planning, large amounts of dumb luck, a willingness to explore some paths that are less well trodden, and deep and enduring friendships that have resulted from a spirit of teamwork and collaboration. The work has been hard, the hours have been long, but the payoff has been enormously gratifying. The overarching lesson from my career for emerging scholars is to have an adventurous spirit and seek out excellent mentors and collaborators.
Large Questions, Small Questions, and Leaky Ones Too
An examination of the kinds of questions we ask ourselves provides a window through which to interpret our history and imagine our future. I suggest that there are three kinds of questions—large ones, small ones, and leaky ones. Those that are identified as large and small map onto the value structures we have created for ourselves in higher education. I call these structures caste systems in which some subdisciplines are valued over others, and theoreticians stand above both practitioners and skill teachers. Leaky questions are those that cross boundaries because they cannot be effectively answered by those residing in any one area or at any one level. I argue that leaky questions generate humility, mutual respect, and incentives for collaboration. I trace my own attempts to address all three kinds of questions as a sport philosopher and conclude that our brighter future in kinesiology, including our attempts to address the harms created by the caste system, requires us to see that most of the questions we find interesting are, in fact, leaky in nature.
The Past Is Prologue: A Developmental Kinesiologist’s Journey Up a Mountain
Jane E. Clark
The past is prologue, writes Shakespeare in The Tempest. And there seems no better expression to capture the theme of my essay on searching the future of kinesiology in its recent past through my lens as a motor development scholar. Using the developmental metaphor of climbing a mountain amidst a range of mountains, the progressing stages of my development and that of kinesiology are recounted. Over the five-plus decades of my growth as an academic and that of kinesiology, I look for the antecedents and the constraints that shape our change and may shape the future of the field of motor development and kinesiology.
Reflections on Developing a Career in Kinesiology and Public Health
Barbara E. Ainsworth
This paper provides reflections on my academic career in kinesiology and public health from an autobiographical perspective. Themes include the importance of movement and physical activity in my development and career choices, a recognition of the importance of physical activity for health outcomes, experiences in studying physical activity in a public health framework, and observations on kinesiology in higher education. I also reflect on the importance of the physical education and physical activity environment that brought me a sense of belonging, enjoyment, and accomplishment that has lasted throughout my career. As in sports and professional activities, I have tried my best and never given up until I felt the task was done.
Searching for Balance: A Historian’s View of the Fractured World of Kinesiology
In this essay, I drew upon the perspectives of Walter Benjamin’s “angel of history” in reflecting upon the history of kinesiology and the influences that led to my own academic career in kinesiology. I have outlined how my disciplinary training as a physical educator and educational historian provided the resources to propel my continuing inquiry into the inter- and cross-disciplinary (and intrinsically entangled) nature of kinesiology. Gender, nationality, training, location, and timing all had their influences on my education and job opportunities and upon building toward a career in a research university where physical education and kinesiology, by design and accident, increasingly separated from one another. From the perspective of a sport historian, I suggest that the language and pursuit of balance might be applied productively to thinking about the future of kinesiology. Sport historians can help in this mission by training a critical lens upon the ongoing traffic between nature and culture and the deep sociocultural situatedness of the science and technology practices used in kinesiology teaching and research in the 21st century. In essence, they can illuminate the historical context of the tools that now frame kinesiology’s questions and the political context in which their answers emerge.
Having a Little Confidence: A Career of Studying Self-Efficacy in Sport
Deborah L. Feltz
In this brief autobiography, I reflect on how my childhood and adolescent experiences influenced my decision to study the psychology of sport and physical activity. I describe how my research evolved over time, my contributions to the field, and the people who were influential in my career. Finally, I offer some suggestions for how the field of kinesiology, as a whole, might engage in the future.
Volume 10 (2021): Issue 1 (Feb 2021)
Alone in the Gym: A Review of Literature Related to Physical Education Teachers and Isolation
Christa Spicer and Daniel B. Robinson
Feelings of isolation have long been found to be experienced by many teachers, particularly by those within some specialist disciplines, including physical education (PE). The potential effects of teacher isolation are undesirable and plentiful. They include a lessening of interest in one’s work, burnout, and/or an absence of community connection. Given the uniqueness of their discipline, PE teachers may especially be impacted by the following: Their discipline is “low status” and marginalized, they are frequently both physically and psychologically isolated from their peers, and they often are one of very few PE specialists in a school. Given these sorts of unique challenges for PE teachers, the authors undertook a scoping review of literature in order to gather and provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of peer-reviewed literature related to PE teachers and isolation, as well as offer implications for PE research and practice.